Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Are You NOT Doing for NaNoWriMo?

I’m off to a boomer of a start with NaNoWriMo, and I’ve totally surprised myself. Day three and I’ve already written 9277 words! How on earth did that happen???

Well, one reason for my unusually speedy output is the sheer fun and excitement of being part of this mass, seat-of-the-pants, outpouring of words. Knowing that everywhere around the world there are writers, just like me, tapping and scribbling like lunatics, is actually quite inspiring.

Another reason is that I decided to go at NaNo hard and fast and get as many words in the bank, as quickly as I could, to compensate for the four, maybe five, days I won’t have a chance to write a word. And yet another reason is that like Claire, I used the week before NaNo to plan and outline the scenes I want to write (actually, scratch that comparison, my planning looks quite pathetic compared to the uber-organised Miss Claire G!) This has really worked for me – I like to see where I’m going before I start the actual writing.

But I’ve realised my output is also down to me not doing certain things, in order to gain more writing time. I made a list of these things today, these “sacrifices” ... some of them are good, and make sense; some of them are nuts; and I wonder … what is everyone else not doing for Nano?

Here’s my list:-

No Gym

I’m loving this particular “sacrifice”. I usually hit the gym five days a week. Not because I’m some kind of health freak, but because it’s what I need to do to keep my nasty, evil, painful back problem under control. But I figure that for one month I can drop those five visits a week down to three, giving me an extra two hours a week … that’s an extra eight hours for NaNo writing!

No Television

I’m not a big TV watcher at the best of times, so this really isn’t such a sacrifice, either. But I occasionally do find myself channel surfing of a night time, watching complete drivel because I can’t bring myself to do anything more productive. But no longer. In November, if I find myself slack-jawed and drooling in front of the TV after 10pm, I am going to write … or at least drag my butt off to bed so I wake up fresh and ready to write the next morning. Which leads to my next sacrifice …

No 7am Wakeup

This sacrifice actually does suck. If I get up at 7am during the week I can – usually - manage to get me and the tribe out of the door by the deadline of 7.45am. But these last few days of NaNo I’ve been getting up at 6am. Ouch. But getting those first words of the day on the page bright and early has proven to be a great kick-start for me, each day. When I return home to write later in the morning I sit down to words already on the page, a scene already evolving, and it’s much easier to slip into (and I procrastinate much less) than if I have to start cold.

And on to the slightly nuts …

My Hair.

Ah, if only female baldness was fashionable, I would be in like Flynn because I LOATHE hair maintenance and how long it takes. Now, washing I’m good with (hygiene and not smelling like a bag lady are important) but the product application and the blow drying and the hairspraying I could well live without (hey, my hair is long and thick and it takes AGES to blow dry … well, OK, ten minutes, but still.) So for November, I’m on a hair-strike; I'm not doing my do. Wet hair, slicked back in a ponytail, will be my look for NaNo. You may laugh (and I can hear you already) but ten minutes saved every day of November equates to five hours for the month! Five extra hours to write and no hair hassles = big win!

So tell me, what are you not doing for NaNo? I feel I could not be doing so much more; I need ideas, people!


  1. Uh, well, I don't appear to be grocery shopping -kids bought school lunch today because we were out of everything, laundry (although the dryer just died so I have an excuse now!), basic housework...wait, I didn't do those things very well before! So, nothing new. No, I know, I haven't talked to my friends on the phone in ages. :)

    And testify on the hair! Damn, I wish we had Jane Jetson's auto-dresser!

  2. Getting up early is out of the question for me. This shit gets done after work or it doesn't get done at all.

    I don't watch TV, but I watch DVDs a lot. Haven't watched any tonight, nor have I played Xbox. I've written insead. It's kinda nuts but awesome. All that kind of non-writing tomfoolery can wait for the weekend!

  3. I'm with you, your Evil Majesty. I cannot convince myself to get up early for any reason. I'm much happier to plug away after work until late at night- and like you, I'm surprised at how well I manage to entertain myself with only writing.

    Rachel- I'm stupid enough that I don't think I've stopped doing *anything*. I'm just jamming NaNo in around my normal life. I even have three cakes to decorate this month (one down, two to go!) in addition to my normal work/ life. Mental!

  4. Agree with you completely on the hair thing Rachel! Right now, even though I'm at work, it's still really fly away and messy. If I'm getting up at 6 am every day (which I've been doing since *gasp* August!), it's *not* for my hair.

    I'm so not a morning person, but I've discovered that writing in the early am - half in the dark - really does help; it's easy to get down words before your mind gets all cluttered with the rest of life. Now if only I didn't have to stop and run for the train...

    I could never plan things the way you and Claire do, but I have to admit it has helped to think at night, before I fall asleep, about which scenes I hope to explore the next morning. Shucks, last night I even had a dream that I was scribbling a scene out while walking around town - except it was a scene featuring Austin not Rosa!
    NaNo dreams...
    I don't know if I've given it up completely, but DH has been - thank goodness! - making dinner the past few nights.

  5. Kristen, LOL, if you get a Jane Jeston auto dresser make sure you order me one too!

    And the kids' lunches - cough - mine are having lunch orders for the second day in a row tomorrow because (a) nothing in the house, even after my mega-grocery shop on Tuesday, and (b) no time to go buy more cos I be writing.

    But do make a few phone calls. Having a chat with friends is always worthwhile - a pity our time zones don't line up. :-(

  6. The Evil King:

    First up, awesome name ... and very similar to what my kids call me;
    substituting "Queen" for King, of course. ;-)

    Sigh. I so used to be a night owl. Don't know what happened; but come 9.30 pm I'm useless, falling asleep on the couch like I'm having a narcolepsy attack.

    Excellent dedication on your part, though, in giving up on all the fun stuff until the weekend so you can write. I hope NaNo is a boomer for you!

  7. Claire, anyone else but you and I'd be committing them to a lunatic asylum ;-) ... but you've proven time and again you can multi-task like an octopus on crack, so I have no doubt you will achieve everything on your plate this November, and more!

  8. Deniz - you've been getting up at 6am since AUGUST?!

    *awed silence*

    Amazing. Well done!

    And I totally agree with you; at that time of the day, nothing has happened, there's nothing else to take up your head-space, and the words do seem to come easier. That hour of writing often flies by quicker for me than any other time I write during the day.

    And your husband is a legend for being the chef. Tell him that from me, OK? (says she whose DH cooks only sporadically, and only spaghetti bolognese.)

  9. Ha! An octopus on crack. I like that. I'm surprised at how well I'm managing it so far- 12K in four days has seemed like a walk in the park.

    Everyone keeps telling me the second week is the hardest, though, so we'll see what happens...