If you, like me, are staring down the ever looming start of National Novel Writing Month with the calm of somebody who is either insane or over caffeinated and quietly considering eating their fifth bowl of cereal of the day then perhaps you’d like to hear the secrets to an awful and confusing month of torture that people like to call a successful Nanowrimo. I wrote several of my tips down here last year so here are five more ways you can help yourself survive 50 000 words in a month. Let’s go!
1. Posture: When you sit down to write, don’t listen to those weird people who tell you to straighten your back and centre yourself. No! You need to really hunker down and curl yourself up into the most cat-like position you can manage. Don’t worry if this is not as fancy or as tight as you are aiming for at first — you have at least 30 days to purrfect your technique. The more cat-like your posture the more words you’ll write. Remember to uncurl yourself for the postman, shower, and other non-related writing activities, however, we don’t want the words to spill out all over the bathroom instead of your novel!
2. Snacks: These are obvs super important. There is only one thing more important than this and that is making sure you maintain a your preselected posture at all times including when you are eating. This to ensure that a) you don’t stop writing, b) the calories don’t count and c) you have the funnest November possible. Don’t worry about “nutrition” or “whether or not” you can “actually stomach” that. Fortune favours the brave! Eat anything and everything you can during November. The only way is through FOOD. Eat away your sorrows!
3. Caffeinate: Take a good hard long look at the instant coffee you have been keeping as an experiment in mould pollution and then down it all. Don’t bother with the water, water is a commodity we can’t afford! Dose yourself up on caffeine and then just keep on going. If your hands aren’t shaking then you’re doing it wrong. Drink more coffee when you feel like crying, add water at around 3am, drink more again, repeat and don’t stop until they offer to sedate you. Drown out any and all doubts you have with some smooth silky syrupy caffeine.
4. Refuse assistance: Deny thy writers and ignore your friends. Do this alone! Don’t let anyone help you. Surround yourself with the vast loneliness of you keyboard and the quiet scratchings of your pen. Spit on all those who say that sometimes, just sometimes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sure, it will seem harder without friends. Sure, you’re cat is going to get very stroppy when you stop talking to him but so what? Roll your eyes at anyone who tells you to have a break and talk to people occasionally.
5. Maybe. Just Maybe. Believe in yourself, let others in, and trust in the freedom of writing.
How do you keep the words flowing and the doubts at bay? I think it’s maybe all about having a great support network and the ability to forgive yourself now and then. Forgive yourself when things don’t write and work out what does.
Are you doing Nanowrimo? I am. Let’s be pals!