And NaNoWriMo. And perhaps even life!
With several years of experience under my belt I know exactly the best ways to fail at NaBloPoMo, and many of the same tips are applicable to NaNoWriMo. If you follow these simple rules you too can be an utter failure!
Or, you know, do the opposite and you might just succeed instead.
- Avoid planning
Everyone knows that planning is stupid. Why waste time on making sure your bridge will be structurally sound when you could just get started with building it? The same applies to your writing goals.
Planning for NaBloPoMo won’t benefit you in the slightest. Sitting down to write a blog without knowing what you’re going to write about is absolutely the best feeling ever, definitely not panic inducing, and is highly conducive to…
I’m sorry, what was I meant to be saying?
When it comes to NaNoWriMo, or any other fiction writing, don’t bother making character profiles – who’s really going to notice if the villain’s eye colour changes from brown to green, or if your protagonists cat becomes a dog halfway through? Keeping track of location names is pointless. It won’t take long to track back through 20 000 words to double check it if you need to. And honestly, so what if that one character vanished halfway through the novel. It’s not like you can remember their name anyway.
- Wait until the last moment
Work on your writing project at the very end of the day. Ideally after you’ve worked overtime, come home to a messy flat which took hours to clean up, made a half-hearted attempt at cooking and then eaten the resultant unsatisfying dinner. You know it’s time to write when you’ve finally decided to drag yourself to bed and get seized by the sudden panicky realisation that you’ve not written a single word today.
- Be in an awful mood
Your boss yelled at you for something that wasn’t your fault. You got a flat tyre and had to wait in the pouring rain for over an hour. You got a phone call halfway through dinner telling you your favourite uncle just died and when you came back your dog had finished all your food.
This is exactly the best time to write.
Sit down to write. Check your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Realise you don’t have a Google+ account. Make one. Delete it again – nobody uses Google+. Make a half arsed attempt to do some research. Got lost in the rabbit warren that is Wikipedia. Realise you’ve spent the last 20 minutes reading about a dead language.
Tab back to your writing programme of choice. Watch the cursor flash for a couple of seconds. Realise you are thirsty. Go to get a drink from the fridge. Clean the fridge. Go back to your computer. Oh, right, the drink. Decide you want ice. Clean the freezer. Take your drink with you to the computer.
Hm, starting to feel peckish. Go to the pantry. Tidy the entire pantry so that everything is arranged by type from left to right, age from front to back, and colour coded within the categories. Vacuum the floor (it’s crumby from that packet of ancient biscuits that disintegrated.)
Start to go back to the computer and realise the cats need feeding. Feed the cats. Notice you’re running low on cat food. Go to the shop. Buy cat food. Come home. The front door is looking a bit shabby. Paint it.
Take a nap.
Sit at the computer. Check your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Consider signing up to Google+. Fiddle with your phone. Write a sentence. Delete it.
Cats are fighting. Separate them. Cuddle the one that you think is the victim. Be a cat pillow for half an hour. Notice all the dirt on the walls whilst you’re stuck. Clean the walls.
It’s getting late. Brush your teeth. Use the toilet. Get changed and climb into bed. Turn out the light.
Realise you didn’t write anything today. Crap.
If you have any other tips for how to fail at writing goals, share them in the comments below!