Part of the genius of slotting NaNoWriMo during the month of November is that it backloads the whole thing with all sorts of urgency.
Sure, you enter the month knowing that November has just 30 days (at least if anyone ever taught you how to count on your knuckles). But stepping down from the 31 days of, say, October to 30 is no great hardship in and of itself.
How much tougher would NaNoWriMo be if you had to write 50,000 words in February? I mean, that’s only 28 days most of the time, right?
Sure, right. Thing is, November isn’t really 30 days long.
Not if you live in the United States, anyway, and not if you participate in typical human things during that month.
Right off the bat, you lose a day for Thanksgiving. For most of us, Turkey Day means we’re either preparing a meal or traveling to eat a meal. And then either watching football or passing out afterwards.
And then, the next day is Black Friday. Even if you don’t go shopping, you’re probably off work, and you’re almost certainly sucked into the holiday buzz by then. That combined hangover — from food and shopping and football and holidays — carries over into the weekend. It’s tough to get things back in order the next Monday, too.
And this year, 2019, there is no next Monday. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is November 30, and, thus, the last day of NaNoWriMo.
With the last week of the month tearing at your time in all sorts of ways, then, your best bet for finishing NaNoWriMo is to plan on having your 50 grand in the (pun alert) book before you sit down to gorge yourself on Thursday. And if you have a lot of prep work coming your way for the holidays, you should probably move that target back a few days from there.
That’s my general goal when I tie into a NaNoWriMo challenge — to have the thing done before Thanksgiving — even if I don’t state it explicitly (which, of course, I just did).
And this year, after a productive weekend (for a change) that yielded 6000 words, I’m sitting north of 42,000 here on the night of the 17th. My plan now is to bang out 2000 words, at least, each of the next four days and finish up a full week before the bird bites it.
I can taste “victory” now, and it’s sweet like pumpkin pie.