The intrepid KoboWriMo team continues to plug away at our various projects, some with better luck than others. Sebastien leads our pack, as usual (not that we’re competing, of course), with Camille in a solid second place.  Maybe it’s easier to write in French?

For reference, the current target word count on day 12 is 20 004 words!  Only one of the five of us is there! We’d better get writing!!

This week we asked the team about their routines, if they have any, and what they may have found works for them. How to they keep focused? When do they find the time to write? What is getting sacrificed to the Altar of NaNo?

 Mark Lefebvre Mark Lefebvre, Director, Kobo Writing Life

I’m a little bit behind as I write this – averaging about 1000 words per day where I should be at 1667 to stay on track. There are some days I don’t write at all, and others where I am able to write in excess of 2000 words. I work at least 60 hours a week (it’s hard not to given that Kobo is a global company and I receive several hundred emails each day from authors and business partners all over the world) and have been on three work-related trips in the past few weeks. I would normally get up an extra hour earlier than normal (ie, getting up at 4:00 AM rather than 5:00 AM), so I could try to squeeze out my daily writing in an hour, but since I normally only get 5 hours of sleep a night, cutting back to 4 is difficult to maintain. So I can’t do that every day. And I can’t write in 10 or 15 minute increments – I know it often takes me a few minutes just to look over my notes, re-read a scene to get me back into the universe I’m writing about, before I can hit the ground running. So I use those moments to sketch notes and ideas on the characters, the back-story, things that help me with the novel, but aren’t going to be part of the story, the actual writing.  I have  also looked for other opportunities where there’s at least 30 minutes that I can write – like on my recent flights to and from New York (where Kobo Writing Life sponsored Self-Publishing Book Expo), I managed to write a little over 1000 words on the plane on each flight. I also try to force myself to get some words written BEFORE I plunge into email, like when I’m in the hotel room. Of course, NOT having Wifi definitely helps. So, a combination of scheduling specific early morning times as well as looking for windows where I’ll be able to crack out either the notebook and a pen for making notes or the laptop for tearing through the story, seems to be helping me continue to move forward.

Christine Munroe Christine Munroe, US Manager, Kobo Writing Life

I’m a total NaNoWriMo rookie, and it has been a serious challenge so far. My KWL role has me traveling often for bookstore and writing conference events, and I have been struggling to find the time to fit writing into my jam-packed schedule. I also caught a bad cold this week, which hasn’t helped matters! I try to write first thing in the morning (any other earlybird warriors out there?), while the house is quiet and distraction-free. I also find it very helpful to check in with my fellow KWL WriMos for extra motivation.

 CamOK Camille Mofidi, EU Manager, Kobo Writing Life

This is my first NaNoWriMo and I’m so excited to be doing it. I had no idea how I would perform so I stuck to a basic routine that seems to work – so far!

I write every day, minimum 1667 words, but if I’m in the mood, I write more, in order to get ahead. I make it an absolute rule not to miss one single writing day. I’m afraid I might lose the pace/spirit/motivation if I did.

I’ve joined the French community of NaNoWriMo, to be in the loop of what’s going on in my time zone (like write-in sessions).

I love having writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo site and exchanging tips with them on a dedicated group on Facebook.

Last but not least, my boyfriend joined me in this craziness, after I told him so much about NaNoWriMo! So now, we spend our evenings writing about our novels and sharing our stories. 🙂

profile Sarah Carless, Technical Writer, Publisher & Author Communications

The first time I tried NaNoWriMo, it was easier – I was a university student and had a new puppy to take care of who got me up in the morning. We had our breakfast and some play time, and then she settled down on my feet for a couple hours as I did my day’s writing.  Now that I have cats and a full-time job, however, it’s a bit more challenging. I’m already up every day as early as I’m willing to be, I work all day, and the cats are more interested in walking across my keyboard and trying to insert their tails up my nose than napping quietly at my feet.  Now that I’m only writing in the evenings and on weekends, what’s suffered the most is my television shows: I’m going to have a lot of television to catch up on in December!


seb small Sebastien Bago, Merchandiser, France

It’s my first NaNoWriMo, and so far I really enjoy it. I mean, I actually can feel the energy and the motivation of the event just pushing me over and over. Knowing that so many other people are writing at the same time with the exact same goal – hit the 50K words mark – is one of the best motivations I’ve ever gotten. I’m in line with the target, and indeed I’m surprised that I’m way ahead of it. So, how do I do it? Well, to be honest one of my first motivations is my writing buddies figures. When I see some them taking the advantage in word count, I just say to myself “come on! Don’t lose your grip!”. And then I’m on for more words. Also, for sure, I stay up late. Like very late up until the middle of the night. But I’m also able to sometimes catch up for 10 or 20 minutes in the middle of the day and add some hundreds of words this way. One thing I’m curious about is: Will I stop writing for two months after that? 🙂

What’s your routine? Have you found anything that’s working well for you? Let us know in comments!