As I prepare for my NaNoWriMo adventure, I’m making some assumptions which will be tested by the month to come. The project’s unofficial bible is Chris Baty’s book No Plot, No Problem (2004). It contains many suggestions which seem very sensible, and at least a few that I plan to disregard, including the following:
- Baty suggests that during the month the writer should eat massive amounts of junk food and consume equally massive amounts of caffeine. That’s not going to work for me. I’ve learned the hard way that when I’m facing any sort of big challenge, I need to go in the opposite direction. Junk food and massive doses of caffeine only stress my body out. During the month, I’m going to have minimal caffeine and try not to eat junk. I followed this strategy during my college exams, and I found it helped a great deal.
- The contract you sign with yourself when you start specifies that you will not read what you’ve already written from day to day and will certainly not revise. Again, my previous experience tells me that this is not the most effective plan. I understand the intent of it, and I will by no means feel compelled to read what I’ve written or revise as I go. When I was writing the last book, I found that reading over the previous day’s work and making small amendments helped to get me back into the flow of things. I write partly by sound, and I need to hear the rhythm of the words to get into sync.
- Baty also absolves all challengers from housework and dishes throughout the month. I live by myself, and am not willing to suffer the cost or environmental destruction of disposable dinnerware. I also don’t think that a dirty house will help me write. Besides, I find dishwashing soothing. I plan to keep my apartment livable for the duration. (If I had a partner, though, I’d be happy to take him up on this idea!)
See you tomorrow!