Four Tips to Achieve a Reasonable Writing/Life Balance

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Hello fellow writers! Welcome back to the blog. 

We are now on day twelve of NaNoWriMo. How is your word count going? Last night I managed to hit the twenty-five thousand word mark, so I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. (I also have an idea for a new WIP using the epistolary genre that I've never seen done before that I want to try, but I'm trying to make myself focus on just one WIP at a time. #writingstruggles) 

However, now that we are coming up on the halfway mark of NaNoWriMo, I've seen a lot of fellow writers struggling to meet their word count goals. Often this is due to full-time jobs, prior commitments, or just life. No matter how well we plan, things are going to pop-up, and it can be discouraging to see other writers crushing their wordcount goals while we fall further and further behind.

However, I implore you not to give up! We are only on day twelve. You still have eighteen more days to achieve your fifty thousand wordcount goal. In September, I devoted an entire blog post to helping writers get in their writing times despite busy lives. You can find that article here, but I'll also list those four tips below. 

  • Set A Time
  • Prioritize
  • Set Goals
  • Be Realistic

How do I use these four tips in my own busy life? Well, at the beginning of the month I looked at my schedule and took note of my free days or days where I didn't have prior commitments outside of work. Then, I decided to devote an hour every morning or two hours every evening to writing. This way, I not only gave myself a choice (I do love my sleep!), but I also had pre-scheduled times in my schedule that were writing times.

This was important for two reasons. First, my friends and family know that those times are sacred and, unless its an emergency, I'm not going to reply to text messages, phone calls, or emails during that time. Second, I know that I'm not going to use that time for social media, catching up on my favorite TV shows, or hanging out with friends. 

I also set weekly writing goals. I know myself, and even with a set writing time, the creative juices are not always going to be flowing. Sometimes, I am going to be stressed, distracted, or have things on my mind other than my WIP. That means my day-to-day word count is going to fluctuate. Therefore, I set a goal at the beginning of the month for at least 13,000 words a week. If some days I write only 400 words and other days I write 4,000 words that's okay. I don't stress myself out because the weekly writing goal is the only goal I'm focusing on this month. 

Last, but not least, I'm realistic. Life happens. I could get sick, my boss could have me work more hours, or I might want to go out with my friends one day and throw writing out the window. I accept and embrace those days. Afterall, NaNoWriMo was not created to stress myself out, but rather to motivate me to sit my butt down and write. As long as I'm writing, then I'm pretty happy. 

Are you dealing with any NaNoWriMo frustrations? Do you have any additional tips for achieving balance? Leave your questions, concerns, and comments down below so we can all help each other live our very best (and reasonable!) writing lives.