So, I “won” NaNoWriMo this week which means I successfully wrote 50.000 words of a novel between November 1 and November 30 and submitted it to the website for validation. Because of this and because I strive to be different from every other person doing Quick Takes (because I’m awesome that way and use the word “because” too much), I thought I’d do a list of ways that you know you’ve done NaNoWriMo.
So… You know you’ve done NaNoWriMo if…
Your Google search history raises eyebrows. So my Google search history for the month includes things like processing gunshot residue on suspects, wedding menus at local wineries, bizarre pathologies, the location of various crime scene processing locations in my area, guillotining in Nazi-era prisons, police scanner feeds, geographies of certain areas, etc. I love Google Chrome because I can just open up another tab, type my search terms into the address bar, and go from there.
People start asking you if they’re still alive this month. I joke that I write murder mysteries to kill off the people who are irritating me so those who know me well will frequently ask if I’m going to kill them off this month. In truth, I write them because it’s what I read for fun as I’m a complete forensics nerd and my brain candy is the class of murder mystery known as “cozies”.
Unfortunately, the whole “killing off the people who irritate me” thing got much too real for me in the midst of writing my piece for this year when one of the college group leaders at my church in Santa Cruz was murdered. I’m sure that I’ll be asked if I’ll incorporate his death into next year’s piece because I incorporate much of my life into my writing; and right now, I’m liable to smack whoever asks me because it’s a little too fresh and I’m still really in shock almost three weeks later. It’s truthfully given me a lot to ponder and reflect upon and in a way, it’s made me rethink the ways in which I express my anger and frustration because the people who committed the crime chose to express theirs in a senseless fashion.
You use your novel as a bribe for getting things done. I’m not kidding — I promise myself that I’ll be allowed to write for a bit if I do the dishes/fold laundry/clean the kitchen/whatever.
You voluntarily give up Facebook so you have more time to write. Those who know me know how huge this is. I *live* on Facebook and giving up reading every status update and sharing every cat meme is a complete 180 for me, especially as it’s how I stay connected with people.
Something interesting happens and you immediately try to figure out a way of incorporating it into whatever you’re writing. Did you drown out someone playing foul rap music by blasting “The Way” by Jeremy Camp? (I actually have… twice!) Did you hyperextend your knee doing Taebo and end up with it wrapped in an ACE bandage for three weeks? (March 2008 for me.) Did someone in your area bring a chainsaw to a knife fight? (This actually happened a few months ago in a Sacramento suburb.) It’s amazing what happens and how you can work them into just about every situation possible.
You’ve actually fallen asleep writing and your prose from that period is better than your normal writing. Not kidding — it has happened to me multiple times. I sometimes wonder if maybe I should just take some Ambien and have at it on days when I’ve got serious writer’s block.
You are obsessed with random numbers. To “win” NaNoWriMo, you have to average around 1667 words written per day (my plan was to do 2000) so you get obsessed with numbers like 48333 even though you can be mid-sentence when you reach it. Sometimes, you might even have your characters read long passages of a book or pray incredibly long prayers in order to make your word count goal.
For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.