A Moment Away from NaNoLand

Hey y'all!

Remember me? Sorry I didn't blog as much last week. I was week two-ed! For those who are following NaNoWriMo, you know week two is the time people feel like dropping out of the world. Well, I contemplated it for a minute around last Monday when I stood in front of my laptop for hours without a word coming out of my fingers. Yes, it was that bad. But by 11pm that night, I told myself just to write a little bit and guess what? I wrote 1,600 words!

For those who are joining NaNoWriMo, you know this is the month to ignore your loved ones. Yes, it is a bit cruel but I have been ignoring Belly and he doesn't like it any bit. Belly is a strange kitty: the more I play with him, the more he ignore me. If I try to hold him too much, he will give me one of those, "oh please, you're smothering me!" look. But now that I am ignoring him, he is clinging toward me. I cannot even talk to my neighbor without him meowing at me. I guess reverse psychology works on cats. If you noticed the same thing with your cat, please let me know.

So yes, my life has been eaten by NaNoWriMo. I write to the point that nothing sounds coherent anymore before stopping. So far, I've reached almost 5,000 words per day in only one day. In other days, I write at least the day mean (1,666 words.) Some days, I can write a lot. Other days, I can sit in front of the computer and nothing would come out. But the important thing is I've been writing everyday now, except for one day when my hands really hurt. That is not so bad, considering I am closer to 30,000 words now.

Before I go, let me share two neat trick to those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo:

1. Install a timer on your computer:
This is a trick I learned when I wrote my thesis. Writing is like running: you can run so fast for so long before you're out of breath. The trick is to find the shortest time span that you can write the most without feeling like conking out. To me, I find I write my best in 25-minute period. Then, I would take a short break, check my emails, and continue writing. Now, I can comfortably write 45 minutes at a time but when time gets tough, I still set up 25 minutes on Instant Boss and write. I'm always surprised at how much I can write in such a short period of time.

Now, writing in a short period is different from doing sprints or using Write or Die. While the other two are sure fire ways to boost your word counts, you may end up with a story you don't want to read. Back in 2008, I discovered Write or Die and crossed the finish line victoriously. However, that story became moot the moment I started it. The need for speed does not worth it if you want your story to be as coherent and readable as possible.

2. Set goals and bribe yourself:
After crossing the 20,000 word landmark victoriously on Wednesday, I went to watch "RED" with two of my friends on Thursday. Why did I do it? Because I enticed myself by setting a goal (20,000 words) and a reward (watch RED.) It worked gloriously. I ended up not only crossing 20,000 words but also finished my first novel. Yes, I did it! The first (or zeroth) draft of that one is over. At least I'm not going to worry about it for now. I'm writing something else, which at this point sounds like a young adult story. Why it turns out this way is still a mystery to me.

That's all for now. For those who are not joining NaNoWriMo, I want to thank you for still staying with me and endure my incoherent rant/show-off post. Of course, I would like to cross the victory line of 50,000 words by the end of week three. I haven't figured what I am going to do once I crossed the line but I am sure I will be dead tired to enjoy it (ha!)

In the mean time, I continue to ignore the home kitty. He sure doesn't enjoy it and so far, he succeeded in recruiting BiBi the teddy bear to give me stank eyes. Imagine me receiving stank eyes from both the cat and the bear. I'm scared!

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