Happy Friday, WriMos! Congratulations – we’re four days into November, and we’ve reached our first weekend of NaNoWriMo. For those of you living in the United States, we’ll gain an extra hour on Sunday, which may come in handy for sleeping/writing/tackling other chores and responsibilities. Use it wisely!
Today’s mashup is a bit shorter than our last two, as we’re trying to keep up with our writing and spend less time surfing the ‘net. Still, we’ve got a few gems to share that we hope you’ll all enjoy:
Mini-Mashup of Awesome
Writing buddies is finally live on the NaNoWriMo website. If you haven’t already done so, check out our linky list of participants and buddy up.
Over at WriMos FTW!, Lisa Bouchard has a very useful checklist of things we must remember to not neglect this November, like eating and spending time with our families.
Likewise, we would like to share Claire Legrand’s amazing post from August, “Y’all, Please Remember to Shower.” Many thanks to Kait Nolan for tweeting this essential reminder to all ROW80 and NaNoWriMo participants Thursday morning. Warning: Do not read whilst imbibing liquids, for your own safety.
Elspeth Antonelli has shared her top 10 tips for approaching NaNo, including such gems as “Don’t expect perfection” and “Cursing at the computer screen is part of the experience.”
For those of you using Scrivener this month, we recommend David Hewson’s excellent blog tutorials and tips on using the program. Hewson has also written an e-book, “Writing a Novel With Scrivener,” that’s really useful.
Contest Alert! WriMos FTW! has just announced the FIRST LINE BLOG CONTEST. All you need to do is leave the first sentence of your NaNo novel in the comments section, and 13 wonderful, amazing judges (of which Lena is one) will pick three winners. Enter your sentence before November 5th, 3:30 pm (EST) to be considered.
Finally, Dee Garretson has made an absolutely hilarious video that captures probably every misconception about what it means to “win” NaNoWriMo. Perfect for when you need a laugh, and a reminder about why we’re writing this month.
The First Check-In
Today’s post is also exciting because we’re hosting our first check-in. Here’s how our work is coming along:
My plan of writing in the morning is going well and I have managed to write for atleast 30 minutes before leaving for work. I love the fact that I have some of my word count under my belt before I start my day, it makes me walk with a spring in my step! I have settled into an evening routine. I come in, put my pjs and a warm jumper on, get a hot water bottle (England is cold!) and put a microwave meal in. While waiting for this I turn my laptop on, check my emails and pack my lunch for the next day. I have managed to take part in a hour sprint with some fellow NaNoers and ROW80ers each evening and these have been great for my word count!
I do have some worries though. One is my diet. I am eating badly. I am eating quick, easy food that I know is not good for me. I thought to myself earlier ‘December won’t be for editing, it will be for dieting!’ Then I noticed edit and diet have the same letters in them! Is it tiredness that makes me think that is cool!!!?? Anyway, I am going to try and watch the biscuit and caffeine intake and be mindful of what I eat. NaNo does not mean I get to eat crap for a month!
Upcoming challenges are that I am at my parents this weekend and have a family event on Saturday. Oh and I will be out on Friday night. I have settled into a nice little weekday routine and as I live alone I just ignore my phone so I am uninterrupted but I guess I need to adjust for the weekend and think of when I can write. My parents are aware I am taking part in NaNo but I doubt they will realise how much of my time it is taking! We will see.
A tip from me – if you are writing in Scrivener then keep a blank word document open to type words to quickly check in a thesaurus. Scrivener might have a thesaurus but I haven’t found it yet!
Word count total – 6223!! (This was my word count last night as I emailed Lena my check-in on Thursday. I should have added some words this morning!)
I’m still trying to figure out my “best practices” for writing, as my class schedule is different each day. I do know that aiming for a word count beyond the base 1667 is impossible between Sundays-Tuesdays, which means that the end of the week and the weekends will be my best bet for gaining a bit of a word count buffer. That buffer will come in handy at the end of the month, when I’ll be driving to my parents’ house for the Thanksgiving celebrations. My parents”get” the writing thing, but only to a certain extent. I definitely won’t be allowed to skip out on family time to work on my novel.
Like Em, I’m also trying to watch my diet. I am cooking dinner each night, which is a marked improvement from my usual habits, but I have been forgetting breakfasts and, er, eating a lot of bread in-between lunch and dinner. Time to find some healthy snacks, so if anyone has suggestions, I’d love hear ’em. Still, I’ve been making time to work out in the mornings before class, and trying to keep up with my chores and housework (easier said than done!).
Schoolwork is getting done slowly but surely, although I just got hit with a gaming bug, and now have this itching need to replay Dragon Age and Mass Effect, my favorite RPG videogames — not the best thing when I’ve got a limited amount of free time right now. However, my NaNo writing is proceeding surprisingly well. As of 12:30 am Friday morning (California time, that is), I have a total of 5230 words, and an excellent sense of where I’m heading in the next half-dozen scenes. I’m looking forward to more sprints with the #ROW80 crew (watch the hashtag on Twitter for sprint announcements), and to my first local write-in this Saturday.
How’s everyone else doing?
Tell us, how’s the writing coming? Have you been able to strike a balance between the demands of life and writing? Any tried and true techniques that you’d like to share with the rest of us?
Chat it up in the comments, leave each other feedback, and cheer each other on!
-Em and Lena