NaNoWriMo Update, Day 8

8 11 2009

I thought the weekends would prove to be the most difficult time for me to find time for my writing because my entire family is at home.  Granted, my “entire” family is a small one, but I find it more difficult to carve time out for myself when my son and husband are running around me, asking for my attention.  So part of my motivation for having a higher word count going into the weekend was that if I didn’t get any writing done over the weekend, it wouldn’t matter as much.  I thought Monday could be my catch-up day.


I was wrong.  My problem (at least right now) is that all I want to do is work on my novel.  In fact, the only times I’m not working on my novel are the times I’m cruising Twitter, blogs, or the NaNoWriMo website.  Sometimes working on my novel is not working toward increasing my word count–I’m planning, working on the full list of names I’ll need for characters so I’m prepared, and getting together any research I’ll need while writing.


Why is that problematic?  After all, my goal is to finish the novel, and I am getting a lot of valuable work done toward that goal.  The problem is that I still have a full-time job to think about; I’ve got papers to grade and lectures to prepare, but I can’t seem to focus on them.  I’m sure that by the end of the month I’ll be feeling worn down from all the novel writing and will welcome distractions in any forms, including grading.  For the time being, though, I’m struggling to juggle some vital aspects of work with writing.  Here’s my current to-do list:


To-Do List

What I have on my list to do today

Yesterday I had a productive writing day, but I didn’t get around to grading 10 compositions, which means I have more of those to grade today.  Oops.


My question to all you readers out there who have a lot to juggle is, “What works for you?”  I’ve tried to-do lists (and still try them, convinced that someday they’ll work out for me), but I tend to brush them off.  Is there a reward system that works?  Is there some program that prods you into action when need be?  I tell my students that time management skills are the key to success–and they are–but that doesn’t mean I’ve figured out how to best implement them.


As an update on my word count, I surpassed my 12,700-word goal yesterday (woo-hoo!) and have set a 15,000-word goal for today.  My other goal for the day is to get off the computer and not touch it again until I’ve crossed at least one of those other items off my to-do list.




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