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#NaNoWriMo: How to Write More by Rochelle Melander


When we commit ourselves to writing for some part of each day we are happier, more enlightened, alive, lighthearted and generous to everyone else. Even our health improves. –Brenda Ueland

I headed into National Novel Writing Month knowing that I probably wouldn’t finish. But I wanted to tap into the energy of the month to get a good head start on my next book project.

Post-race cheering with daughter Elly!

Post-race cheering with daughter Elly!

I had a similar goal last winter when I signed up for my first 5K: I wanted to run more. I knew that training for a race would help me do that.

Running experts talk about the 10 percent rule: increase your mileage by just 10 percent a week in order to remain injury free. Why? Because most running injuries come from overuse—doing too much, too fast. Then I found an interesting article by Matt Frazier, Rethinking the 10 Percent Rule for Increasing Mileage. Frazier experimented with a new training schedule:

  • Run every day.
  • Start with just 20 minutes every day.
  • Each week, increase the length of the run by 10 minutes.
  • Do less when you need to, but not more.

So what does this have to do with writing? Frazier’s plan for running training works for writers as well. We could create a similar writing plan:

  • Write every day.
  • Start with just 20 minutes a day.
  • Each week, increase your writing time by 10 minutes.
  • If you need to, do less. Skip a day. But don’t do more.

As National Novel Writing Month wraps up, many of us still have projects to complete (or start). Frazier’s plan of tiny steps—just 20 minutes a day—can help us start and finish our next writing project.


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