NaNoWriMo: Planning a Writing Schedule – Part 3

NaNoWriMo: Planning a Writing Schedule – Part 3

As you plan for NaNo, be thinking about your writing schedule this November. There are many different ways to figure out your work flow and schedule. In the free Preptober BFF Planner, I have two pages laid out where you can chart realistic times to write. You can also figure this out on a monthly calendar.

Whether in Step 5 in my planner or a calendar, you’ll be able to fill in the chart with your weekly activities. That will enable you to realistically see what time you have available to write. 


After that, I took it a step further. I looked at my writing patterns to decide what is realistic to write 50,000 words in one month.

Here is my sample writing pattern:

  • My min. word count when I write is 2,500 words
  • Sometimes I need 1 day off to plan. It helps me generate ideas and energy for a scene or chapter

Therefore, to complete 50,000 words in one month based upon my writing patterns, I will be successful if I write 20 days out of 30 (20 days x 2,500 words = 50,000 words).  That leaves me 10 days to think about story, character development, etc. Some days I will write more than 2,500 words. Those extra words will be a bonus.

What about your writing patterns?

If you like to write every day, NaNoWriMo states that you can write 1,667 words each day and reach your 50,000 word goal.

Your available time and writing habits may be different than the above samples. What is important is to think about what you need. Break down the facts of how you write, when you can write, and what you need to succeed.

You may have time to write in the morning, an hour at lunch and two hours after dinner. Some of you may have all day to write. You may have one day per week to write. Your writing schedule is individual. It’s based upon your needs and patterns.

Planning your schedule ahead of time can help you figure out your best course of action. A timeline can help you achieve your goal!

NaNoWriMo: World-Wide Writing Challenge – Part 1

NaNoWriMo: World-Wide Writing Challenge – Part 1

Every October and November the writing world loses its mind! NaNoWriMo, the largest writing competition, starts in November. Thousands of people have achieved their dreams by writing a book in one month. That’s just one of the exciting writing updates this month.

During October and November, I’m providing my tips to help you write your book too. This is the first time that I’ll be having a private writers group dedicated to providing tips to help you succeed. Writing can be fun if you know how to play.

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is a world-wide writing challenge that keeps writers encouraged, accountable, and writing 50,000 words by the end of November.

It’s not just novel writers that do this challenge. There are thousands of writers, screenwriters, poets, memoirists, and more who participate each year.

This is a FREE challenge. I’m hosting the “Fun & Focused First Draft” group where you’ll get tips to keep you motivated throughout the challenge. NaNoWriMo tracks your word count and at the end you receive an award for winning (completing your 50,000 words).

To participate, download the Preptober BFF Planner! The planner provides the steps to signing up for NaNoWriMo and accessing my private writers’ group. (Space is limited to the first 20 writers that sign up.)

Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

We’re chasing the water again, this time in Salida, Colorado. During a girls weekend, where I’d known most of the people there since I was 5-years-old, we went river rafting and looking for water sprites. The mermaids had fun with us that day!

We glided through the water while I was enjoying the scenery, peacefulness of the cliffs and national park forest. It gave me a lot of serenity and inspiration for Iona Fay & The Sea Sirens, book three. It didn’t last long.

Some of my friends got a little too spirited and decided to do some unexpected underwater exploration to help me out. Right after Meghan with an “M,” our river guide, told us we were the best group she’s taken down the river, we hit “Hemorrhoid” rock, and half of the people in our boat toppled into the water. Fortunately, we quickly rallied, dunking and hauling everyone safely back in the boat within minutes. Upon which, Meghan with an “M” informed us that no one has ever fallen out at hemorrhoid rock.

We were the first.

On the bright side, at least we didn’t lose people in the “Toilet Bowl.”

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

What an Adventure!

It’s no wonder Georgia O’Keeffe came to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for over 50 years to paint, eventually making it her permanent residence. I was so inspired by the awe-inspiring topography, on a whim I submitted an article to Trailer Life about the timeless enchantment that reigns in  New Mexico’s 150 to 200-million-year-old cliffs and canyons. (Look for the article in Trailer Life this November, 2017.)


New Mexico feels ancient. It feels like a place out of time, as if New Mexico was present when time was created. For hours, I sat in a rocking chair on a perfectly positioned terrace at Ghost Ranch, talking with Daniel, a Native American, whose grandmother was a healer in his tribe. If you’ve ever been to Ghost Ranch, then you know the exact terrace of which I’m speaking — you can’t mistake it. There I rocked, staring off into the distance at the mountain ahead, talking with Daniel about how old New Mexico feels. The closest feeling I’d had before was traveling through Savannah; it feels like people of the past are walking around in the present — you can easily imagine Civil War soldiers and ghosts at every turn. New Mexico is close in it’s unique vibe, but it’s different than Savannah. New Mexico feels ancient, as if the land still resides in the time of its birth, millions of years ago.

We rock, much of the time in silence. It’s the same view that besotted O’Keeffe for half a century. She was enamored by the mountain; it held her heart. In Georgia O’Keeffe a Life in Art, she mentions in the film that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough times that he’d give it to her. I imagine that if someone artistically meditates a lifetime on thing of such serene beauty,  the subject can’t help but somehow become a part of the artist.

(above: the mountain God gave O’Keeffe)

God definitely gave her gifts—her paintings, life and residence. When visiting Ghost Ranch in person, it’s easy to see why O’Keeffe was captivated. With it’s mythological, checkered history, transforming from Ranch of the Witches, a hide out for cattle rustlers, a dude ranch, location for films such as City Slickers and dinosaur stomping grounds, one has only to sit rocking on the terrace at Ghost Ranch to know that we are only a small part of something bigger than ourselves.

Buffalo Mountain Retreat

Buffalo Mountain Retreat

Magic is a garden breakfast! We had a blissful morning with Jessie Benson Fine Art of Buffalo Mountain Retreat! What a magical time. We’re still talking about it and her A-MAZ-ING cooking.

Hand to heart, prior 10:07 am EST there was only one omelette that held the title of “best omelette.” It is The Gastonian in Savannah. That title is now at risk!

The photos show the omelette Jessie made me. This Buffalo Mountain Omelette is now tied for first place!

Here’s what makes her omelette so delish: we went into her garden, freshly picked our own herbs (sage, onion, chives, banana pepper, jalapeño, nasturtium), a little butter, parmesan and cheddar, Jessie’s magic with a skillet, and we ate it with a view of Buffalo Mountain.

If you go to the retreat, a blissful day awaits guests while enjoying yoga, meditation and delicious food.

Thank you, Jessie, for your open heart and hospitality! XO