Late post today because I am spending all day moving to a new flat. This will have to be short, but obviously I have to write a little something about NaNoWriMo now that it’s looming right around the corner. How are other participants feeling? Nervous? Excited? Scared out of their minds and ready to bail and become ballerinas instead? These are all common side-effects when participating in the epic adventure that is NaNoWriMo
Moving is going to make it a little harder to finish all my prepping, but the good news is that my OUTLINE IS FINISHED! So are the character profiles, the list of characters motives and stakes, a rough outline of the second book in the trilogy and an even rougher outline is barely started for the third book. I won’t beat myself up over it if I don’t finish that one, though, because I have gotten a lot more prepping done in October than I honestly expected.
Moving also makes writing this post a little challenging, so I am just going to do a quick list of things I have planned to make it through November in one, relatively sane piece.
There is no way I am going to find myself stressed out and frustrated in November, about to tear my hair out, go to the cupboard and realize I am out of snacks. Then look in the fridge and see that even worse; I’m out of cheese. I refuse to live that nightmare!
So I intend to pile my kitchen high with anything I might need, from coffee and tea to crackers and heavenly cheeses, all ready whenever I need to fuel up. And, since I am certain to forget to make dinner some (okay, most) days, I’m going to cook something huge on Tuesday and pack it away in portions so I don’t starve. Or overdose on cheese.
Because madness is not a rare occurrence during NaNoWriMo, I have a list of rewards prepared for every 5000 milestone. Any time I reach a new one, there is a little treat waiting. Something activity that is very much not writing related, where I can just shut my brain off. I know how important it is to sometimes take a step away from your project, and I am not good at doing it. I feel somehow taking time off is neglecting my work – which is just not true! Time away is vital for your sanity and creativity. You can’t survive on creative output alone – there’s got to be a fair amount of input to balance it out.
I love structure. I love having a time and a place for everything and know what is going on. This also applies to my writing. So while yes, I will write during the day if I get the time, the plan is mainly to have four twenty/twenty sessions every evening during the weekdays. This means twenty minutes of focused writing, followed by a twenty minute break, and repeat.
Twenty minutes might sound like a long break, but I know how my brain works and if the break is equal to the time spent working, I get a lot more motivated and those twenty working minutes are more productive. Usually what I’ll try to do is find a sit-com or something with twenty minute episodes and watch one in-between writing sessions – something light and easy that won’t ruin me emotionally before I start writing again. Because my story is already doing that.
This one is important for me – everyone knows I am doing NaNoWriMo! Sure, I have my Writer’s Group where a lot of them are participating as well, but even friends who don’t write at all, I have made sure to tell them that I am doing NaNoWriMo. This is partly so they will be prepared to be turned down if they ask me to do anything in November, and partly because then I’ll probably have to share with these people whether I win or fail. Sure, they won’t care one way or the other, but I will, and that is enough.
Like I said, I have an unrealistic amount of things to do today, so I have to get back to it! I really hate to write these rushed posts, but life loves to interfere. At least my new flat will be all ready for when NaNoWriMo kicks in!
So – deep breaths. I’ll put on strong coffee, crack my knuckles, and get with the moving into this lovely apartment while finishing my prepping on the side. Totally doable, right? Best of luck to everyone doing their own prepping – and a nice, relaxing weekend to anyone who hasn’t sold their souls to the cult of NaNoWriMo.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a novel to write. And furniture to move.