Sorry for the radio silence, guys. I initially planned to take just a week or two off—I was still feeling bleh from my run-in with food poisoning—but then Inktober came around and more or less monopolized my free time, and … well, there you have it. But October is winding down—and fast!—and I want to share some final thoughts as we all prepare for the official kick-off this Friday. (!!!)
✎ Stock up on essentials.
Carve some time out of your schedule this week to do an inventory check on all your wrimoly necessities. For those writing by hand, do you have enough pens and paper? For my fellow caffeine drinkers, do you have enough coffee and tea? Anybody prone to winter chills? Buy a few pairs of wool socks, and keep a thick throw close by. You might also want to look into fingerless mittens.
Rule of thumb: do what you can to save yourself time next month. If you can stock up now—and your goods aren’t perishable—do so!
✎ Maintain thy well-being!
While it’s important to keep on task and write during Nanowrimo, it’s equally important to not neglect your body. Make sure to take regular breaks during your writing sprints. I recommend getting up every hour or so to stretch and walk around, or even to bike around the neighborhood should weather permit. (Nothing like fresh, crisp air and the exhilaration of biking to refresh your brain and get your creative juices flowing again.) Eat healthy too. It’s super-easy to lapse into a diet of fast food—convenient! cheap! so, so tasty!—but do your best to stick with fresh produce, protein, and calcium. And STAY HYDRATED. Your brain and body will thank you for it.
✎ Don’t neglect life.
Nanowrimo may seem to consume all of your free time, but that doesn’t mean you should put life on hold. Pay your bills. Do the dishes. Clean up after yourself. Go to school. Take your exams. Show up for work. Maintain a healthy social life. And for goodness’ sake, don’t forget to feed your pet hamster! If certain responsibilities conflict with your writing time, see if you can rearrange your schedule to accommodate both.
✎ Just write! And have fun.
We all want to write good prose, and be good writers, but at the end of the day it’s not about writing well or writing a lot—it’s about WRITING, period. Write. Just write. Keep on writing. Accept the fact, here and now, that your writing next month will not be your best. AND THAT’S OKAY. That’s what rewriting is for. Nanowrimo is not the time for rewrites or perfect manuscripts. It’s the time for writing, and for getting that first draft onto paper.
And most importantly, HAVE FUN YOU GUYS. Don’t take your story too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Just let go and enjoy the craziness that is Nanowrimo, and see where the creativity takes you.