Sorry I missed yesterday’s Friday excerpt post, but life got in the way. I think that’s happened to all of us at some point or another, but especially when you have young children, being regular can be hard! And yet, it’s also one of the best things about working from home, that I can adjust, and take that time to be with my family when they need me.

But it did spark my idea of today’s post. With NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon next month, I thought I’d talk about what to do when life gets in the way in the middle of NaNo, and how you can deal with it.

Be Prepared

If you know you have any regular events planed during the month, make sure you plan to fit your writing in around them. If you have exams, family events, babies, weddings, or work events, be realistic about how much you can write on those days (if at all), and change your daily writing goal on the other days to accommodate for it.

Be Realistic

50,000 words is a great goal, and manageable for most, but if you have a new baby or a new job, it might not be possible. Don’t let that put you off trying at all. Part of the fun of NaNoWriMo is writing with a bunch of other people, and that can be lots of fun, even if you know you’re not going to meet that goal.

Get Ahead

Whenever you can, write more than your daily goal. Everyone will have days when they just can’t write for some reason. You might get sick, or have a sick child, you  might have an emergency at work and need to work overtime. You might just hit writers block mid way through. If you can build up a bit of a buffer in the early weeks, it will make it much easier to cope with unexpected events or non-writing days.

Don’t Give Up

Even if you do slide behind, don’t let it get you down. Even a day or two of not writing won’t up your daily goal by more than a few hundred words, that’s nothing. And if you’re even further behind, well, just check out the NaNo boards for the stories of people who’ve come in from behind to win in the last few hours. It can be done. And I’m sure the victory is just as sweet.

All Words are Good Words

If you just can’t make that 50,000 goal, don’t feel bad. Life does sometimes get in the way, and that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Look at the words you HAVE written, and remember that if you hadn’t tried, you wouldn’t have them. All words are good words, and this competition isn’t against all the other people who are writing, it’s against you. If you normally only manage to write 5,000 words in a month, and you hit 10,000 words, that’s a win! If you’ve never actually sat down and put those words on paper before and you manage to write 5,000 words, then that’s fantastic!

And remember, that if life gets in the way, then it has precedence. Take care of life, and come back and write when the time is right! It will still be there.

How about you? Have you had years when you haven’t managed to finish NaNo? Have you had some spectacular wins against all odds? Share them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them.