Item number 1: Take breaks from writing.
Obviously writing is a time consuming, mentally taxing activity, and I’m not in the mood for that sort of thing every day. And sometimes life just gets in the way – as important as my writing is, family will usually trump it. And sometimes I just have a really bad day at work, and need to take a break. And sometimes I just lose track of time and I’m tired and I can’t think of what else to write and my muscles hurt and I don’t want to have to work tomorrow.
It’s a slippery slope.
After I finished NaNo I intended to take a break of one or two days in celebration of my momentous achievement, and then dive right back into the project to get my first draft finished by the end of December. Well, then Thanksgiving arrived, and a bunch of family stuff got in the way, and the next thing I know it’s been a week and a half and I’ve written all of 8,000 words – two or three days work in the middle of NaNo.
The good news is that I’m still on schedule to finish by the end of December – starting today, I need to write 2195 words a day to reach my 120,000 word goal (I’ve said 125,000 in the past, but I’m trying to encourage myself to write more briskly, remember?). I’m almost 1,000 words into it today, and I wrote about that much yesterday, so I’m starting to get back into things.
The main reason that NaNoWriMo has been such a successful time for me is because of its deadline: November 30th, 50,000 words. Always. I’m finding that creating those own deadlines for myself is a little bit more difficult – this December should prove an excellent test.
Also, I realize that I just listed one thing that I shouldn’t be allowed to do. You’re going to have to live with that for the time being, but I assure you that there are more.