This is it. The final week before NaNoWriMo begins. The final week of normality and sanity (well, the usual amount of sanity, which is to say not a lot). The final week of regular meals and TV and reading.
All that changes starting Saturday.
Well, this is off to an ominous start. It’s not like I’ve never done NaNo before. I’m probably psyching myself up for no reason.
But, in any case, Ground Rules:
- I will get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. At. Least. Bare minimum. Yes, Bauman, I am aware that you can function on 6. And have pulled off a 5 a few times in your life. But you always feel like shit afterwards. 7 hours. You need to be in top physical form to win.
- I will cook at least 4 meals a week. And yes, heating up a frozen dinner counts as cooking. That should make your life easier. But you cannot fall into the rabbit hole that is Seamless again. Takeout is easy. Takeout is delicious. Takeout is also the reason why none of your pants fit in December. So stop. Also, stop going across the street to the Chipotle, it is only there to taunt you.
- I will not beat myself up if I fail to make the word count one day (or every day). Yes, you love the little progress graph. You feel the same joy when it’s in the green as Fat Cat does when you toss her a treat. But you have other responsibilities besides NaNo. Failing to hit your word count isn’t the end of the world. Life just got in the way. And that’s okay. You could afford to be a little less stubborn and competitive with yourself.
- I will not get stressed out over my lack of safety net. Bauman, you are mixing it up this time. You are experimenting. You are following your whims. You like whims. Embrace the whims. You do not need a detailed outline to keep you on track. You never follow them anyway, so why do you feel so much better knowing it’s there? It’s a crutch. It’s Linus’s blanket. You don’t need it. Let go. Be free.
- I will not fall back on “lazy writing”. I am lazy. I love lazy. Lazy mornings, lazy vacations, Lazy Sunday. But lazy writing is a cheap cop-out. You will not write typical characters. You will not follow plot formulas. You will not introduce any McGuffins, Chosen Ones, or Red Herrings. You will not follow the path everyone else is on. You will forge your own. It’s your story. Write whatever the hell you want.
- I will respect writing time and not attempt to multi-task. That means writing time is for writing. Sure, you can play some music while you work, but NO TV. No Internet. No Movies. No Reading. No calling your parents when you’re bored (because, honestly, it’ll only make you frustrated with your mother…again). Stay off Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram. Pinterest is allowed only to view your idea board, not to pin pictures of delicious pie or bathroom remodels. When you plan to write, actually write.
Chances I stick to all these rules? Slim to none. But I’m gonna try.