This will be my fourth go at NaNoWriMo. I’ve picked up a few tips along the way and sharing is caring so here’s me passing on the great wisdom of the WriMo so that it will not be lost amid the scraps and scribbles of November.
This also serves to lighten the moon in between long, rambling posts on heavy topics that make me depressed to write about and probably don’t make anyone happy to read either. I hope you enjoy these happier snippets. More will come.
With that, here are my first three rules for NaNoWriMo
Invest in a good body spray
You’ll need it when the push to reach your wordcount eclipses the push for hygiene. Don’t think it’ll happen to you? Wait until your three words away from the end of Chapter 4, running 3 minutes late for the bus, raking your fingers through your hair in frustration and . . . Oh shit, is that grease?
Yes. Yes, it is.
And if you’re hair’s past it’s prime, your armpits probably aren’t too happy either. So get that body spray, something quick you can spritz as you race out the door or down the street or fumble for the keys to the car. (It’s okay to do this in public because it makes you look more like someone who cares about smelling pretty than someone who was just moments before madly typing away at the end of Chapter 4.) Something flowery is usually good for covering up November’s eau d’ i-sat-at-my-computer-all-night (they’ll be bottling that any day now.) And if your friends, coworkers, fellow bus-riders don’t like it, you can blame it on the manufacturers. (“What’s with all the florals this season? I can’t find anything that doesn’t feel like rolling in a field of flowers!” Careful with that one, though, because then you might have to the bathroom to write the scene you just thought of where your character is rolling in a field of flowers before the aliens invade and the scent lingers as she shivers on the cold operating table and the bright light obscures the faces but there’s a flash of steel, the edge of a scalpel, somewhere above her . . . )
Make sure that you are wearing PANTS when you leave the house.
I can’t stress this enough, guys. I know it may be tempting when you’re running 20 minutes late for work or class to just run for the door after hitting save. But–especially for those of us who roll out of bed to the computer in whatever happened to be available or not available last night–try to get in the habit of the pre-exit pat down: Pants there? Shirt? Footwear? Footwear without bunnies or spongebob on them? (And only if you want to be fancy or have an extra 30 seconds . . .) Fly zipped up? Boobs properly secured? (for the ladies, of course.)
Forgetting any or all of these things will not endear you to the local police, your employer, or your friends who now have to pretend that they don’t know you. And writing from a holding cell while you’re waiting for charges of indecent exposure to be filed will likely be more difficult than setting your alarm an hour earlier to make time for writing in the morning.
It’s November. It’s not the end of the universe. But if you really can’t handle it and the end of the universe seems like a better option, put a penny in the bank and take a trip out there. There’s a nice restaurant where you can have dinner, relax and enjoy the end of the universe. When you’re ready, November will be here waiting for you. And if you miscalculate and come back in December by accident, we’ll be happy to have you back all the same.
Have fun . . .