NaNoWriMo is the writing event for everybody, not just authors and English majors. Although I’m not playing by all the rules this year, I’m still participating. Also I figured this blog could use an update, and this update is especially bloggy with all the bold text. Anyway, my secret to NaNoWriMo success, which has allowed me to write 50,000 words during five separate Novembers, is: Be rude.
I don’t mean trolling the NaNoWriMo forums or yelling out car windows for stress relief. I mean that if you give your writing priority above not just your own personal distractions, but the demands of your family and friends too, you are more likely to write all 50,000 words in November.
Here are the rude things I do to make my wordcount:
- Bring a notepad, writing phone app, or laptop everywhere, including movie theaters and other people’s homes when they make the mistake of inviting me over during November.
- Ignore others’ social media and blogs (which will still be there in December).
- Take advantage of early voting and mail-in ballots instead of wasting time in line on election day.
- Write while people are talking about something inconsequential.
- Write while people try to get me to watch TV with them (sometimes in front of the TV).
- Screen all phone calls.
- Turn down social engagements at which I cannot write (unless it’s a family event).
- Make somebody else drive or fly me to Thanksgiving dinner so I can write on the way.
- Make somebody else cook most of Thanksgiving dinner (ideally providing one dish so the family must admit that I contributed).
- Gain a few pounds if “bad” food and lack of exercise improve concentration or buy extra time. As a fat American I’ve found that existing while fat is apparently quite rude.
- Mutter while writing in public (it’s part of my process).
- Eavesdrop on others’ conversations and put their unattributed quotes in my characters’ mouths.
- Threaten to name villains and red shirt characters after people who interrupt me.
- Write sex scenes in a location where innocent passers-by might see the paper/screen.
So rude! So inconsiderate!
And yeah, if you know me then you know I’m like this about reading all year. In the other eleven months these behaviors can become bad (yet productive) habits. But during November, giving your writing priority over everybody else’s crap may get you to the NaNoWriMo winner’s circle.