Stay In Your Body: Third Week of NaNoWriMo

The neurons in my brain are overactive. I spawn a new idea every hour. It’s sometimes useful to have a bottomless well of ideas when you’re a writer. It’s handy during NaNoWriMo. Need ideas? Just pull one out of your head, or if you’re ideas are typically conceived from your ass, then there you go. Pull it out of your ass then. You’re set, my friend.

But it’s also distracting having so many ideas, sticking with them, and coherently writing them in 50,000 words. Devoting all your time to one thing is sort of insane, but I think after arriving at 30, 719 words, I get it. I really do, especially since this is the farthest I’ve ever come in NaNoWriMo.

Making your writing your top priority is novelty idea. Wake up in the morning, brew some strong coffee, put your glasses on, sit down, and write. You’ve obviously set up the environment for sophisticated, intellectual brain stimulation, but we all know that this just isn’t the way it goes, although the coffee bit is probably true.

You stayed up late the night before so you reward yourself with sleeping in. Then when you eventually wake up, you delay getting out of bed because you turned the heater off at one point during the night, and it’s so cold that it feels like you’re sticking your foot out a window during a snowstorm. When you’ve surmised the idea of coiling yourself in blankets to reach the bathroom to turn the knob on the heater up high, you then skip across the linoleum floor to have a pot of coffee ready for when you get out of the shower. You read a book when you’re eating breakfast. You brush your teeth because the devil dog you had last night is now eating at your tongue and your mouth taste like a dirty mushroom. Eventually you do get around to writing at, I don’t know, 10:45, and you’re going to have lunch at noon with that friend from out of town. This is a typical morning on a weekend, and I’ll be the first to chalk up this list of reasons to a plethora of excuses, when before NaNoWriMo, this was my morning ritual. It seems like not much has changed; however, the time spent surfing the web or reading at lunch is singularly devoted to writing and finishing a novel.

I made a post on a NaNoWriMo forum about my novel being a collage. I’ve written it in pieces. I’ve even resorted to writing on the back of a receipt. Hey, when an idea knocks at your door, you have to accept it like it’s a dead celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet. I didn’t care though because I later typed it into my story. I have so many ideas! The real tragedy is I forget most of them. NaNoWriMo though makes me not forget them. It forces me to write and to disregard the thought of having a library interior décor, ignore the clamor of defective material and train horns. Just write. Just do it. Because of this, it’s also made me realize just how important it is to stay present when we’re tackling our writing goals.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not always present during these moments. It’s hard to stay in your body and not float off to a different idea. This can sometimes lead you to thinking the worse, that you won’t meet your writing goal. Try not to let this happen. The only way I survive this is by burying myself into my work. This is the month to do it.

When this is over, I want to look more at just the end result. I want to carry with me each trying day because that’s really what I want to remember: how I preserved and kept going. That’s way more useful than 50,000 words, which let’s face it, will be obliterated when you start editing.

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