It’s the second day of NaNo but this is not my second NaNo related post…yes, the promised daily updates have fallen by the wayside already…I have failed you!
Yeah, you heard me right – GOOD!
Now the pressure is off…*phew*
My first day of NaNo went better than I expected. I managed to get a few words down first thing in the morning (thank goodness for commuting); snuck in a few words at Caffé Nero at lunch; and even managed to get some more done on the jam packed bus on the way home (mmm, a bus full of jam) from work – even with screaming kids, shouty chavs and music blaring from thousands of tinny headphones.
I think this is a good way of completing NaNo, trying to spread the daily word count over a 24-hour period rather than cramming it all in during one panicky late night session. Who knows though, maybe I’m wrong. I know some people thrive on pressure, but I think after a few days/weeks of not giving your self a day off can get to some people. Of course there are some people who write everyday anyway (and we all salute you for that, mighty word-warriors) but for people not used to it, it can be more of a soul crushing chore than a quick-forming habit.
So for people already panicking about keeping with the rest of the nano-ers, try breaking your work loads down into more manageable chunks.
1,667 words after a long, hard day at work/school/in the pits may sound a bit foreboding to most people but 250 words when you wake up, a sneaky 500 at lunch, and 250 words while your waiting for the bus or sitting on the train can soon have you well on your way to getting the suggested word count for the day. If you get most of the work done in small breaks during the day then when you get home tired, defeated and ready for vegetating you’ll only have to do around 600 words to finish for the day! Then you can sleep! Ahh, sleep…a distant memory for most nano-ers already.
Another bonus to scribbling small snippets during the day is that it keeps you thinking about your story. No suddenly switching on when you get home and trying to get in the mindset of your novelist counterpart. If you do happen to come home from work feeling refreshed and invigorated then you can STILL sit down and do a mammoth writing session if you wish, but think how better it will feel know you slipped in an extra thou’ during daylight hours!
If you feel even worse when you get home, because it’s NaNo and winter and feckin’ expensive Xmas around the corner, maybe your boss gave you a bollocking for not getting that report on their desk in time for the in-duh-viduals manager meeting (who does he think he is anyway? Stupid boss!)…it doesn’t matter. Remember all of the sneaky snippets you wrote earlier in the day? They’re pulling their weight and keeping you out a sticky jam (mmm, jam). Don’t worry about it, sit back relax and soak up the realisation that you already got the majority of the day’s word count out of the way already…easy peasy!
It’s all about alleviating pressure. If you let yourself boil up and panic about things then this month is going to seem like a completely impossible task. So try and relax and have a laugh! I know, I know you want to be a SERIOUS writer but if you don’t have some fun along the way then poor Mrs. Johnson, the friendly cleaner who comes in every alternate Tuesday, is going to find your rotten corpse swinging from a homemade noose strung over your writing office door, a pen jammed in each eye and the words ‘writer’s’ block’ etched in your pallid forehead. Poor Mrs. Johnson, she doesn’t deserve that.
Speaking of alleviating pressure I managed to complete the suggested word count for the first two days YESTERDAY! Which now means, after my shockingly long and crappy day at work, I can now sit back and relax if I want and not have to worry about falling behind.
…or I can keep writing and make it easier for myself later in the month.
No pressure and having fun, that’s what it’s all about.
Oh, and because I promised Movember updates. I’m still trying to squeeze out my charity moustache through sheer will force at the moment. I’m usually a hairy faced bloke at the worst of times but that’s because I only have a stubbly shave with an electric razor. The wet shave I needed to have to take part in Movember is showing me up as a man! I’ve been at it two days now and I barely have a decent 5’o’clock shadow! Bah! Anyway, thank you to everyone has donated so far and don’t forget you can STILL donate all month if you want too. Please help me support an amazingly worthwhile cause.