The Acid Method
(Silver Trilogy, #1)
Halo of the Sun
NaNoWriMo: Day 1
It’s that time of year again where literary (and non-literary) folk burn keyboards with a fiery attempt at writing 50,000 words in one month. To make this challenge even more difficult than it should be, it’s during the month of November where you have holidays and days called “Black Friday.” Sounds ominous, and it is true: the path is treacherous. So as day one begins, I thought I’d start with words of advice. So here goes. . . .
Top 10 things drivers do that tick me off:
1. Litter. I mean really—how hard is it to dump your trash at home or the next time you stop at the gas station, or, hell, stop at all? Almost anywhere you go there is a convenient trashcan for you to use. But no, people insist on tossing their trash out their car windows and polluting. I will never understand the selfishness of this act, and there truly is no excuse.
2. Tailgating. So you’re in a hurry? How does this help? In fact, it will only frustrate you and put yourself at risk. People do brake check, and you do not want to be slow on that peddle if they do. Or how about that furry little rabbit ahead of you? Didn’t see it coming? Well, that’s because you were too busy eating someone’s bumper. Back off. Tailgating helps no one.
3. Speeding. There IS a reason for a speed limit, believe it or not. I don’t care how wonderful a driver you think you are. Most of the time speeding will not get you to your destination any faster than if you were patient and drove the speed limit. Don’t believe me? Test it for yourself. I mean really, do you think those few seconds will give you time to stop off for a Danish? The only times I believe speeding is a necessary evil is when there is a true emergency (like when my head was split open and I was bleeding everywhere) or there is someone on the road you think poses a risk to yourself and speeding past is the only way you’ll feel safe. For example: A drunk person or a trucker falling asleep at the wheel. (It’s okay to call the police if you’re that worried.)
4. Cutting people off. There’s just no excuse. None. This isn’t worth anyone’s life.
5. Not paying attention. There are other people on the road besides yourself. The quicker you learn this, the better off we’ll all be.
6. Passing on the right (on the interstate) without giving the person in the left lane a chance to move over, because you know what happens when you do this? Everyone else thinks you’re slow and passes you on the right too, which gives you no opportunity to move over. Give me three seconds and I’ll move over. Jeez, impatient people.
7. Texting (or messing with your phone/iPad/whatever device) while driving. How many people die because of doing something so idiotic? Enough said. Morons.
8. Speeding up and slowing down. Speeding up and slowing down. Speeding up and slowing down, then getting ticked when the driver next to you stays at a constant speed, like it’s their fault you can’t figure out what speed to drive at. Also, how does one not get carsick while doing this?
9. Driving below the speed limit in the “fast” lane while staying next to a semi going the same speed. Well, it isn’t even “below” the speed limit, really. It’s the fact you’re blocking the damn lane for everyone else to pass. Either speed up and move over or slow down and move over. It isn’t rocket science.
10. Flying past bottle-necking traffic so you can squeeze in at the front. Wow, I didn’t realize your life and the things you need to do and the places you need to go are more important than everyone else’s in line. What amazes me even more? People actually let these selfish people cut into the line at the front. Sorry, I won’t be doing that. You’ll have to hit my car first.
Now you’re wondering how the hell this list offers any advice for writing during NaNoWriMo. You’re confused, I understand. But you see, writing for NaNoWriMo is a lot like driving. Think about it:
—Don’t throw away anything you write during the month (no littering).
—Don’t get in a hurry and “speed” to catch up with others in the NaNoVerse; set a goal for yourself and stick with it.
—If you “tailgate,” you could wear yourself down before you reach the finish line, and then you might never cross it because you burned out early.
—Don’t “cut people off” during November. Socializing with other authors, especially ones who are participating in NaNoWriMo, will keep your muse chattering and your fingers busy on the keyboard. Take time every day to check in with your NaNoBuddies. Trust me, writing is a lonely gig, but it doesn’t have to be.
—Patience with your writing and characters is a virtue. Just because they aren’t “moving over to the right lane” immediately, doesn’t mean they won’t. Give your plot and characters a chance to bloom without glossing over them. You’ll regret it later if your development lacks due to your impatience at writing your 50k words.
—Don’t get distracted. Set time away for yourself to write. Turn off the internet, your phone, and lock yourself away. Leave the house, go to a place with wifi. If you don’t have a laptop, take a notebook with you. I once wrote 20k words on vacation while sitting on a beach. My notebook sustained a ton of water damage, but I had a hell of a story when I got home.
—Don’t write a ton, then don’t write at all. Consistency is best. If writing every day is something you can’t do, set your daily word goal higher so you can take a day off during the week of your choosing (or a set day). You’ll be glad you decided to use the “cruise control” when you don’t have to play catch up the next day.
—To add to the previous statement, don’t get stuck in a rut and next to a semi going the same speed. If you have the time and are not new to this game, set your goal higher than NaNo’s. However, if NaNo’s standards are too high for you, set a lower goal for yourself. Either way you are a winner, even if NaNoWriMo says you only are at 50k. As long as you reach YOUR goal that is all that matters.
—As the days of November dwindle down, don’t race ahead to try and beat the traffic to the finish line. As soon as December 1st hits and you have to revise, you’ll regret getting too excited about the finish line. It might take you several more hours to fix the mess you created than it would have been to write it properly in the first place.
Now that I’ve given you the best advice I can for day 1 of NaNoWriMo, I have to get started myself. This year I will be finishing my manuscript for Forsaken Harbor and writing a novella for the Timeless series. It’s untitled as of yet but will be a free ebook once it’s finished.
Happy writing, NaNoMites!