In this post, our blogger takes a comic look at NaNoWriMo and includes 30 excuses not to write your NaNoWriMo novel.
This is my practical plan and schedule to avoid writing a novel in a month
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a novel writing organisation that provides tools to help writers write a novel in a month. You begin writing on 1 November and write a 50 000-word novel by 11:59:59 PM on 30 November.
This vicious propaganda goes against every standard of decency and good taste. Every real writer knows that it takes years of anguish and inactivity to produce even the shortest novel. Some real writers can’t even finish one novel in a lifetime and that is how it should be!
So, today I am doing you a favour and giving you helpful advice to avoid falling into habits that the great ‘Hacks’ like Stephen King, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts (200 novels! What an abomination!) have built up over time.
As any university student knows, it is quite easy to knock out 1 500 words in a single afternoon so, 1 677 should not be a problem for anybody.
Now, how best to avoid this?
I believe it is essential to be organised in this regard and set aside time to plan your day so you can stay away from you keyboard. To do this we should make a calendar. You can learn what to avoid from the enemy’s own calendar here.
30 Excuses Not To Write Your NaNoWriMo Novel
1st: Get Ready
Get organised for the month! You need to stock up on supplies and arrange your life so that you live your best writing life.
To this end: install Candy Crush on your phone.
Play those video games you have been eyeing for months.
Buy at least four new board games if you have someone to play with.
The NaNo-nites would have you buy enough coffee for a month of intense writing. I say no! Instead, buy enough wine for a month of Netflix!
2nd: Run From Your Book
It takes about four hours to write 1677 words, depending on the person. So you need to ensure you don’t have four hours free in the day.
To this end, why not take up running or, even better, hiking? The farther you run the further you will be from your ‘goal’ of 1677 words a day.
We’ll call this ‘Run From Your Book’. Repeat this three times a week.
But we’ll mix it up with a hike every few days. We’ll call this ‘Take A Hike’.
3rd: Go To Bed ‘Early’
It takes a lot of energy to write a book. Your mind needs rest and relaxation so it has the mental energy to concentrate for hours at a time.
To this end, I suggest a regime of sleep deprivation. We’ll be going to sleep in the early hours of the morning, so we’ll call this ‘Go to Bed ‘Early’.
If you slowly increase the hour that you go to bed during November, you will be completely incapable of rational thought by December, never mind the concentration needed to write a book.
4th: Make Yourself Comfortable.
If you are going to be doing anything for long hours you should be comfortable doing it.
So, it stands to reason that your bed and couch need to be on point. This is a good month to get that new recliner and those comfy sheets.
By, contrast you desk should be too small for your computer and your desk chair should be made of solid un-cushioned wood. Back pain really makes sitting down to write almost impossible.
5th: Take A Hike, Go To Bed ‘Early’ 12:30 a.m.
Meditation is a tool that people use to empty their minds of all distractions and improve their productivity.
On the other hand, if you can master the art of ‘meditation’ you could be spending hours a day meditating in coffee shops or bars. If you are reading this in 2020, then maybe meditate outside with a drink just watching the world burn.
7th: Run From Your Book
8th: Meditate For Two Hours, Half A Pint Of Gin
9th: Compile A List Of Books You’ve Been Meaning To Read
Every real author knows that you have to have read everything before you can be a good author.
Thanks to modern publishing, reading everything would take 72 000 years. So, you had better get started.
Start small though. No sense in rushing the experience. A book a week should be plenty.
On the other hand, why not just buy more books than you can ever read and then start six or seven at a time in a vain effort to get a feeling for them?
10th: Go To Bed ‘Early’ 1 a.m.
11th: Take A Hike
12th: Read A New Book
13th: Run From Your Book, Meditate For Two Hours, Vodka
14th: Read Another Book
15th: Run From Your Book, Go To Bed ‘Early’ 2 a.m.
16th: Read A Third Book
17th: Run From Your Book
18th: Start A Fourth Book, Meditate For Two Hours, Beer
19th: Take A Hike
20th: Cheat Day!
You’ve worked so hard up until this point and you deserve a cheat day.
So, sober up and put the good chair in front of the computer and get to writing.
You’ll be so energised that you’ll get four or five thousand words out in no time! But, then the weight of completing a whole book will hit you like a ton of bricks.
You will be mentally exhausted from not being used to writing. This will help you build a negative image of the writing experience. Whenever you get the urge, you will subconsciously find yourself curled up on the couch scrolling though Netflix.
21st: Run From Your Book, Meditate For Two Hours, Wine
22nd: Read A Fifth Book, Go To Bed ‘Early’ 3 a.m.
23rd: Run From Your Book
24th: Plan A Writing Retreat
You know not for now, obviously. But, for some day in the distant future where you are a better person who has their life together and could really get some writing done.
This planning should take at least five hours.
2022 is probably the earliest you should aim for, because you don’t want to rush that book.
25th: Take A Hike, Read A Sixth Book
26th: Meditate For Two Hours, Go To Bed ‘Early’ 4 a.m.
27th: Run From Your Book
28th: Read A Seventh Book, Meditate For Two Hours, White Rum
29th: Run From Your Book, Go To Bed ‘Early’ 5 a.m.
Hey, look at you!
You got through an entire month without writing a book. Now, I know it was hard, but if you can just keep this up for the rest of your life you won’t be a sell out like those ‘Prolific’, ‘Published’, and so called ‘Authors’ we mentioned earlier.
Well, here is to a month of not bowing to NaNoWriMo; not making productive checklists; and not planning for a month of writing.
I hope you enjoyed this serious and helpful article. Please let me know if you have any useful suggestions from avoiding this novel writing trap.
If you want to take NaNoWriMo seriously, read these:
- Countdown To NaNoWriMo – How To Plan For The Month
- The Starter Block: Getting Ready For NaNoWriMo
- 2 000 Writers Reveal NaNoWriMo Strategies That Worked for Them
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Christopher writes and facilitates for Writers Write. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisLukeDean
If you enjoyed this blogger’s writing, read:
- 10 Quotable Tips From Oscar Wilde On Writing
- 10 Methods To Effectively Avoid Writing
- 5 Things You Need To Know To Write Science Fiction
- 5 Things To Remember While Writing A Novel
- Your Book: What To Cut & What To Keep
- 10 Mantras To Make You Grow As A Writer
- The Greatest Fictional World Builders: Frank Herbert