One Week Down: NaNoWriMo

I’m one week into Nanowrimo 2013 and here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Eggs are your best friend. So are bagels, cereal and pizza. And cashews. Apples. Oh, and yogurt. Seriously, you can make a decent meal out of any of those things, and the folks in your house will be cool with it.

2. I like to write early, like 5:30 am early. It’s quiet, it’s still dark and I get to check a to-do off my list before regular life begins. Since Nano started however, I’m not writing at that time anymore. I’m still writing, just not then, and it’s messing with my mind a little bit. Why is that?

3. Nanowrimo is hard, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. First, there’s convincing people it’s worthwhile. (My tip for that one is to relate it to running or weight-lifting or learning how to play the oboe: You need to set goals each day to increase distance, to deadlift 250 pounds, or to earn first chair. Not that I know a lot of weight-lifters, but people seem to understand better when it’s put in those terms.)

The second hard thing about Nanowrimo is the writing itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m used to work writing and deadlines, but this is different. With Nano, I’m creating a world that exists only in my head, with people only I know, and getting all of you to see it and care about it like I do is no small task. So. Many. Words. Talking to people who don’t actually exist. Sitting at my desk with my head in my hands so often that if one more person asks if I’m okay I’m going to post a sign on my office door that says, Yes, she’s fine. It’s a LOT of thinking, maybe too much? Maybe.

4. Get outside. Stretch. Drink buckets of water. Don’t eat Halloween candy. Nope, not doing it.

5. Read whatever you think will help  your writing. My novel is set in the rural Midwest, and I’ve read Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (full disclosure, it’s assigned for a class I’m taking, but it’s quite helpful); skimmed parts of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, and checked out a coffee table book from our library on farmhouse style to look through the images for specific details for the story.

So far, I’m just 1,000 words shy of the total to date, which has me pretty excited. Tomorrow’s the first Nanowrimo writing marathon, and that should catch me up.

Now, who’s up for a fritatta?