#NaNoWriMo: Ignoring your Inner Hermit

The 2009 NaNoWriMo is practically cheating.

See, we actually get five weekends this November, and that’s like a whole extra week! Kinda. Sorta.

Okay, I don’t math.

But the point is still valid! Weekends are incredibly useful for NaNoWriMo — most of us didn’t get to take the month off just to write, so for a lot of folks this is our opportunity to catch-up, relax, or even get ahead in anticipation of the crappy schedule NEXT week. It’s when we can really buckle down, close all the doors, shut the world out, and write.

In this, our third weekend of NaNoWriMo, I want to make a suggestion:

Do not just close all the doors, shut the world out, and write.

Most of us have People of Significance in our lives (I’m not only talking about Significant Others, although they’re a subset of this group.); spouses, children, close family, close friends, bowling buddies, whatever. They’re out there. Most of them know you’re doing this NaNoWriMo thing. Some of them are actively helping you find the time to get your writing done (deflecting noisy children, doing the dishes alone, taking everyone out of the house on three-hour excursions), but even if they aren’t THAT active as a NaNo-supporter, they’re probably cutting you a lot of slack this month: not bugging you about unreturned phone calls and emails, letting you off the hook for poker night, not punching you in the junk when EVERY SINGLE CONVERSATION ends up being about the story you’re writing.

And here is what I think of your struggle with First Person Present Tense...
And here's what I think of your struggle with First Person, Present Tense...

One year, I decided to do NaNoWriMo without any support at all. I told NO ONE I was doing it. That was my third run through on a NaNoWriMo project so I had some data for comparison, and let me tell you — the stuff our friends and family do for us is huge. HUGE.

Don’t make them fucking regret it, people.

This weekend, you’ve got a new task: get your writing done, yes, but also open up the door to your writing space, step out, and do some stuff with or for the people who are cheering you on through this thing. Here’s a few nice things that don’t eat up an entire day and which can actually be a good thing for YOU, too.

  • Do the dishes. Unasked. Do it during one of those stretches when everyone got out of the house to give you some writing time, and THEN go write. It won’t take that long.
  • Go for a bike ride, or just a good walk. They don’t take that long and the views will give you ideas.
  • Drive out to the airport and watch the planes take off and land, or go to a lake and watch the boats. Bring some snacks.
  • Cloud watch.
  • Go to a park (combines well with cloud watching). Maybe take a frisbee. (Can you tell it’s warm out here in Denver?)
  • If it’s not warm where you are, go sledding. They’ll get cold soon enough, this won’t take that long.
  • Miniature Golf. Mini-golf is awesome.
  • Play some Happy Birthday, Robot! (If you aren’t sufficiently nerdcore to own fudge dice, just use regular dice and consider 1 and 2 to be -, 3 and 4 to be ‘blank’, and 5 and 6 to be +.)
  • Buy them a little present. Little. Not big. Grab a cute bookmark at one of the Tattered Cover write-ins. Something to show you appreciate them. Doesn’t have to be much of anything.

I’m sure you have some other ideas. Post em in the comments.

Finally, make sure this time is not just “Time”; make it Quality Time.

By that, I mean: Don’t Multitask.  If you’re writing, Write. If you’re Doing Something with Them, then DO ONLY THAT. Don’t mix the two. Don’t. Fucking Don’t; I’m serious.

(More on that some other post.)

For now, that’s it.

Get back to work.

Have fun.

… and go do something with the people cheering you on. They deserve it.

Totally. Worth it.
Totally. Worth it.

(This post is dedicated to Kate, Kaylee, Dave, Margie, Tim, Randy, Chris, and everyone else who puts up with this crap all the time. You guys are my heroes.)

5 Replies to “#NaNoWriMo: Ignoring your Inner Hermit”

  1. Pff. I’m on my second load, in between making pancakes and eggs for breakfast.

    Yah gotta remember: I write this advice for me — it just happens to apply to other people.

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