Counting Down to Nanowrimo 2016

Nanowrimo is just around the corner. Although I’ve participated since 2007, I have yet to reach the goal of 50,000 words. Like many folks, I make the usual excuses—too busy, too stressed, too tired—but the truth is, I’m always busy, stressed, and tired. And yet, this year feels different somehow.  

How so? I am more self-aware. After ten years of “failing,” I’m practically an expert. I’ve learned how I work and why I don’t. My strength is that I’m a great starter with lots of energy and ideas in the beginning. However, I know that after a few days I burn out, or I lose momentum very quickly once I see how far behind I’m getting. Therefore, I really need to stay on target with little tricks and incentives/disincentives along the way.

What I plan to do differently this year for Nanowrimo:

Make writing a priority. I will schedule in times throughout the day during which I will sit down and write. Instead of chaining myself to the desk and hope that the marathon writing/head-banging sessions will work out, I will also work in smaller chunks of time and take breaks throughout the day. Taking walks and/or going to an exercise class is a great way to get some oxygen to the brain—and maybe some ideas as well.

I also need to limit distractions—i.e., not check Facebook or Twitter as much as I do. Perhaps I can use those as rewards once I reach a certain word count.

Seek outside help. This time I’m not going to suffer silently or alone. I will take advantage of the write-ins that are available at my library on Sunday afternoon. I will also keep an eye on the Nanowrimo regional groups and take part in the word sprints and other fun activities so I won’t take myself so seriously and choke while creating my masterpiece-in-progress craptacular-first-draft.

Change my attitude. I need to quiet my inner censor and remind myself that what I create is supposed to be the opposite of a masterpiece. In fact, the crappier the better because the next version will be even better. I need to trust in the process. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be lucky and uncover some hidden nuggets of brilliance along the way.

Keep moving and not accept any excuses. I will create my novel on GoogleDocs so I can work on it anywhere—even on my iPhone. Although I don’t like painstakingly poking on the tiny keyboard, it’s better than bemoaning the fact I don’t have my laptop with me when my cantankerous, fickle Muse decides to visit.

In the past, I would self-sabotage by making silly deals with myself—for example, allowing myself to have a Korean drama binge session for “inspiration.” This time I know better. Work first, play later. Or maybe play, but only with words so it won’t feel like work.

Write, or else…do something more yucky, yet productive. Perhaps when words trickle slower than the urine stream of an old man with an enlarged prostate, I can work on something else that I’ve been putting off—like cleaning the fridge, basement, bathroom, closets, etc. (I am NOT a cleaner by any means.) If I can’t reach 50k words, at least I’ll have a squeaky, clean house by the end of November.

Be held accountable. This year, I’ll be regularly checking in with my writing buddy and doing some plotting and/or write-ins on Tuesday evenings with her while my daughter is at Religious Ed.

In case you’re curious about my progress, my Nanowrimo ID is bebejuamama. Feel free to nudge me as well, and I’ll do the same if you’d like.

So, how many of you are planning to do Nanowrimo? 

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