Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10/30/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Welcome back everyone and happy almost-Halloween! I'm sure you all remember just how much I enjoy the holiday and the fact I actually get to dress up this year makes it extra special awesome! I managed to get my department to hold a costume contest, since people were allowed to dressed up anyway, in order to help motivate participation. This is going to be so fun! I seriously doubt this is why you're here though...anyway, I'll get to that then!

So right the start of NaNoWriMo just two (TWO!) days away, I wanted to make sure that everyone is prepared mentally and physically. Hopefully the mentally preparedness is pretty much done, with the exception of the 'Day 1 Panic' that I assume happens to everyone that's not a robot. That leaves the physical one that we need to focus on, and as with every year, I really can't stress enough how important this is. Listen to your body, because if you are doing too much it will tell you and if you don't pay attention you will seriously regret it.

I'm sure that I sound preachy about all this, and if that's the case I really do apologize. I know I've made no secret that I have tendonitis in both my wrists, the left is worse than the right since I'm left handed, and having that for over ten years has taught me that I really do need to pay attention to when it's time to take a break. NaNoWriMo is a time when this is extremely important because there is a word quota that will be in the forefront of everyone's mind and the stress of getting to that is going to be seen as a stronger motivator than the weird kind of tingling or scratching pain in the center of your wrist.

The thing that I have found works the best is breaking up your writing time throughout the day. Do some 400 - 500 words in the morning, then something at lunch, and then a little when I get home, and all of this of course depends on my schedule for the day. I might be able to do half in the morning, half at lunch, and then take the rest of the night off to rest. As fun as it is to finish early, the key is that if you do have something that forces you to limit the amount of time you write, to work within those limits. Pushing yourself too much is only going to cause damage and make things worse in the long-run. Remember the other year when I had to take a month off because I couldn't do anything? Yeah that was because I did too much and had to be on medicine to get things to calm themselves down. I was so bored. So if you say that you're going to do some 2000 words a day so you can finish early, then that's awesome, do that, but don't sit there next Thursday and say that you want to do 3600 instead because you feel like it. (You'd be done on the 25th if you did 2000 words/day anyway, so that's awesome!)

I mentioned last year that your hands are not the only potential victims of NaNoWriMo, and this is very true. Your back is also at risk, especially if you are using a laptop to write at. A lot of times you don't realize how much you're slouching over when you're using one, at least not until it's too late. One way to help with this is to get one of those nifty little lap desk things. I got one and it is surprisingly helpful. It only changes things by a few inches, but those few inches really do count.

The long and short of all is that you need to be careful. If your body is telling you something in the form of pain that means it's time to take a break. It doesn't need to be a long or permanent one, but just a break, even if it's for an hour or so to get food (oh, also don't forget to eat, that is also very important) it will be a good thing for your body. Do some stretches for your back when it starts feeling stiff, and while applying the science of advil to your hands and back is useful, all that does is do some temporary relief, so if that is needed maybe do something else that doesn't require you to sit hunched over and typing or holding something awkwardly for a while. NaNoWriMo is supposed to be fun, not damaging. Let's all get to 50,000 words together, at our own pace.

Thanks everyone for stopping by, remember, no post on Friday as I will be in the throws of the Friday's Day 1 Panic that I mentioned before. I'll be back on Monday though with an update. I'd love to keep a tally of everyone who's participating and where they're at. Let's see if we can all get to 50,000 words by the 30th! I for one was pleased to discover that Thanksgiving was on the 28th, yay more time for me! Happy Halloween, happy writing, and happy NaNoWriMo!

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