Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 17: NaNoWriMo

What I love about NaNoWriMo is how it purges the toxins from our bodies.

Whenever I go to writing conferences and conventions, the part I'm always amazed about is how focused I feel. When you're waking up at 7AM to be at the conference by 8AM, and then going in and out of panels and workshops for another 12 hours, it's a honing experience. I spend considerably less time on my phone, on YouTube videos, and playing games. My mind is all about writing, and it happens for consecutive days.

So we're more than halfway through NaNo, and every single one of us is going through withdrawals of some kind, be it television, or music, or YouTube, or video games. We're giving something up so we can spend more time writing our stories. Our brains are buzzing about who are characters are, what they're hiding from other characters, how they are tackling their personal challenges, as well as the challenges an antagonistic force is putting upon them.

And we're tired. We're so damn tired of putting an hour into our stories and coming back with 334 words.

We should take breaks. We should relieve ourselves with television, and music, and YouTube, and video games. The problem is we put ourselves in a situation of relapse. It becomes incredibly convenient to say today is too hard, and sit on the couch. Everyone has seen it happen to someone around them. Some of us will look in the mirror and find that person.

I can't give out any easy answers here, other than to be careful. Relax when you need to relax, and work when you need to work. It's exponentially more difficult to form a new habit than to return to distractions.

Finishing a story is delayed gratification. Netflix is instant gratification. It gets easier with practice when to balance the two in our lives.