Finding Time for NaNoWriMo: Do you need time or energy?


Time – the great enemy and friend of the creative trying to sneak a large or small project into everyday life.

When contemplating doing National Novel Writing Month, the most common snag people run into is the question of time:

Do I have time to do NaNoWriMo?

It’s an understandable concern. Even to a seasoned veteran of the 50,000 word sprint, this kind of thing does take time, and a lot of it.

Let’s say that between distractions and thinking, you can write 400 words in an hour; that means 125 hours are needed to be found to write a novel in a month. (This number can easily be increased with tricks to increase word count automatically, streamlined thought processes, and flow – but more on those another day.)

It seems like a lot to fit into our daily lives, what with school, work, other responsibilities, and it is. It’s also something that most people can figure out if we are willing to reshuffle life for a month – delegate, streamline, and rearranging the way we do things.

What a lot of people really are missing is energy masquerading as time; it isn’t the time we’re lacking, its the energy to do something with the time we have left after daily obligations, frustrations, and distractions. We get home after 9 hours out for work, manage to eat some kind of a meal, and then don’t have energy for much else.

Being tired takes up still more time; the need to recharge leads to frustration, takes away more energy, and before we know it, we didn’t get to those other five things we needed to do. We blame time, but it was energy.

Do you really need more time, or do you need more energy?

Time without energy is just more time. Energy with no time turns to anxiety. A balance of available time and the energy to do something with it is what most people mean when they say they need more time.

What we need to do in life, especially when adding the time/energy burden of writing a novel in a month is to get real with ourselves. When we get to the heart of our blockages, our realities, then we can truly begin to find a solution.

So what is it you need? And more importantly, a question to meditate upon for the next few days:

No matter which you need, what are you willing to give up (just for the next month) to have it?

(This post is dedicated to the #writeclub channel. Alex C. told on you.)

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