For those of you WriMo-ers out there, you may be feeling a little fatigued at this point. You may be dealing with writing-related injuries like strained wrists, bruised fingers, blisters, or early-onset cray-cray-writer syndrome*. Well, I’m here for you, and I know what you’re going through. Here are a few snippets from my NaNo project and several tips for staying sane. Ish. Sane-ish. I’m not a wizard, okay!
* technical term for a totally real condition.
Whether you’ve written 5 or 500,000 words this November, by this point you’ve likely settled into some sort of rhythm. No, I am not referring to the slamming of your head against the brick wall. That’s bad rhythm. Stop that. Seriously. You might injure your head, and you need it for things like writing… and, you know, other stuff. LIVING! That’s the other thing people do with their heads.
Seriously, you sit, you write, you haunt a few forums, you brew coffee, you drink whiskey, whatever. Perhaps you have your favorite playlist or your favorite bagged snack. You probably have a time during the day when you feel most productive while noveling.
THE GOOD NEWS: these things can stay with you when November is over and you can use them to keep writing.
THE BAD NEWS: you can’t actually remember words, grammar, shpelling, or the name of your own family members. You may, in fact, have just called your mother by the name of your protagonist on accident.
So here are my top three tips for both surviving the final stretch of NaNoWriMo and for reentering society (without looking like an absent-minded serial killer).
- Get out of the house. Go for a walk, do some yoga, and just generally breathe in the real air of the real world and do something based in actual reality. Maybe help your sister-in-law pull staples out of a floor or feed some ducks. This will help you prepare for the fact that there is a world outside your head, and it has still been trucking along in your absence.
- Talk to a friend. Maybe your friends and family are starting to feel neglected. It is NaNoWriMo, after all. We’ll see her in December. Don’t worry about the smoke coming out from under her door, it’s all just part of that noveling thing. No, my novelist friend. Go and find a real human to talk to. Try to talk about something other than your story for five minutes. Congratulations, you have achieved the first step in acclimatizing to human behavior in the real world. Rinse and repeat, but maybe wait for Dec. 1 for a lot more of that time-wasting activity.
- Take a break. Not necessarily from writing, but just from… NaNo. Don’t skip a day, but maybe go grab a healthy snack and some herbal tea. Get some sleep. Read a story that isn’t yours. You know, just… breathe. You’re almost there, sweetie, take a moment to savor that word count and just remember that victory is within reach. Find that corner of sanity and make it a little bigger.
A note on that final point: victory is December 1. It isn’t 50K. We all want to get to 50K or higher, but sometimes it just ain’t gonna happen, and you have to realize that the ‘winning’ of NaNo is every single word you wrote this month which you otherwise wouldn’t have penned.
Now… three snippets, just to make things symmetrical.
- A small part of her dreaded that he might be making fun of her, and she was clever enough to be suspicious of men who were too polite.
- “You probably didn’t because you were too busy grabbing his hair. Honestly, DeGuerre, what kind of under-handed stuff and nonsense was that? We’re assassins, not barbarians.”
- “Justice cannot serve you, so perhaps you needs must serve justice.”Enzo’s eyes drifted over the room while he thought, and Allegra watched to see if he would come to a conclusion. “I don’t follow,” he said at length.
“Debt to fellow man. According to you, it’s quite a heaping debt at that.” She eyed him. “How do you intend to pay it off?”
He snorted and shook his head, looking at her with an amused and curious glint in his steely eyes. “You are full of surprises, mistress.”