10 Things That Happen Only During NaNoWriMo

Posted on November 10, 2015
There is a positive sense of unity when participating in a writing event such as NaNoWriMo, but there are personal costs as well. This is a list of the top ten things I've noticed have occurred ever since I started Nano. Let's get to it and have a good laugh at the end. No will die, not even my goldfish, I promise.

Ok? Go!

Blinky, our goldfish, will survive NaNoWriMo.
I swear to it!

#1 - I forgot to go grocery shopping. 

Who hasn't, right? But when the fam starts foaming at the mouth when we're out of butter for three days, things get a little crazy. And, since there was no butter, the bread got stale and moldy, and we had to throw it out. We are bread-and-butter-for-breakfast household. It's right up there with air and water. We need it to survive. AND, we're picky about the brand of butter we buy, which means we can't just go to QuickCheck and buy the QuickCheck brand. Oh, the faces I got at breakfast when the kids discovered they had to eat cereal, again, or worse... use cream cheese. 

<<cue shrieking scream>>

#2 - As a result of #1, I ran out of dishwashing liquid so dishes couldn't get done. 

A sink full of dishes doesn't exactly create the best odor for a kitchen, or a living room and dining room. After two days without washing, I had to stop what I was doing and buy some dishwashing liquid, and I did some shopping as well. The kids do need to be fed, you know.

#3 - When I got the dish washing liquid, I forgot to wash the dishes.

It wasn't until my husband got home from work around 9 pm when the odor smacked him in the face like a sweaty gym sock that was washed in a pool of steaks and fried fungus, that we finally did the dishes. He actually walked straight through the kitchen and out the backyard door and yelled out, "What is that smell?" My kids and I were desensitized. It took us 30 minutes to clean the kitchen. It was that bad. 

#4 - I keep forgetting to shower my son. 

My son is a sweaty athlete. He plays soccer almost every day, and if it were up to him, he would never take a shower. Sometime around 10 pm, on several occasions, when I remember his bedtime had passed, I found myself suddenly in a rush to get him to sleep so he can wake up the next day for school. He doesn't have to be so clean anyway, and at least I remember to remind him to brush his teeth. However, I don't always remember to follow up, so I'm not sure he's been brushing his teeth every night. 

Meh. One month of sub-par oral hygiene won't hurt him.

#5 - I have become inefficient in helping with homework. 

When my story fully occupies my thoughts, I can't concentrate on anything else - this is the reason I only write from 9-2. During those hours, the kids are in school and I have total writing freedom, I can submerge myself into a fictitious world and go nuts! However, on a couple of nights I had to write while my son did his homework to keep up with Nano. On one occasion, my son asked me for help with is science homework. I had to read the workbook passage three times before I actually "read" it. My mind was churning ideas, how dare I interrupt it with something so mundane as the process of photosynthesis. By the time I was done helping my son, the ideas in my head had vanished and I had to close my laptop. 

Jumping in and out of the writing zone is an art form I have yet to master. 

#6 - I changed the curtains. 

Procrastination came in full form yesterday when, in preparing my workspace for the daily writing, I decided the curtains were disgusting. They have been hanging on my dining room windows for 10 years without washing. I had "replace curtains" on my todo list since three years ago, but something happened yesterday that I just couldn't look at them anymore. Of course, I couldn't proceed until after I took them down. They were distracting me.

#7 - I've become sensitive to things that go bump in the night.

This is new. I'm a pretty good sleeper when it comes to the noises around me. Usually, my dreams wake me up, but lately my sleep-time ears have the sensitivity of a bat! If a mouse farts on the rooftop of my neighbors house, a block away, I'll wake up. And, I'll do one of two things. Either I will go downstairs to my laptop and review the last paragraph and start writing new ones, or I will stay up wanting to write and NOT be inspired and feel the weight of NOT writing pressure me into eating a chocolate chip cookie or a roast turkey hero. Like I need another reason to wake up at 4 am!!!

#8 - Last minute laundry sprints.

Since laundry has moved from once a week to whenever I remember to do it, (and it has yet to be done in November), my kids have asked me to specifically wash things they need for school or their sports teams. For example, my son needed his white soccer uniform for a game on Saturday and my daughter needed an Under Armor shirt that has been lingering in the laundry basket since the weekend prior. On Saturday, I shouted out to everyone, "I'm doing a single load of laundry!" and soon I was loading the washer with only the essentials. Not bad, but the laundry baskets are piling up. Probably going to have to take an afternoon to get to it.

#9 -  I've done little to no reading of fiction.

I picked up a novel I started before Nano on Sunday and I felt kinda guilty. It felt as if I was lazy, unproductive. When I write, I need total silence, but I can read with noise in the background. I can read when my kids are around, but I cannot write. For me, writing requires a different level of concentration, so I need my environment to be quiet. Even after rationalizing this, I could not enjoy the book so I had to put it down. Is this a normal feeling? Does this happen to everyone? Are you guys read during nano without feeling guilty or lazy? 

#10 - I've written at a faster pace these past 10 days than ever before clocked!

And this is why I joined NaNoWriMo this year. Over the summer I took a long break from writing and came back in October to a sprint. I need nano to get me back into writing daily, at a high average pace. There are days where I reach my goal almost exactly, some days I meet it only halfway, and other days I have doubled it. I'm doing okay, overall. Will I make 50k? Not sure. I have never made 50k on any of my first drafts. But, if I finish the first draft in 45k, or if I finish it the first week of December, I'm calling it a win. The goal, for me, is to finish it.

What do you do differently during NaNoWriMo?  Do you have other goals other than reaching 50k in 30 days? And, have you showered your kids lately? 



  1. This is amazing!!

    Seriously, I love this so much. I have to share it everywhere in the spirit of NaNo!

  2. Replies
    1. Isn't it?!?!? Crazy the things we put oursevelves through... :-D

  3. I've been there. Got two big work contracts so NaNo is not for me this year, but your post is making me envious.

    1. Oh Kella, don't be. I just took the day to do laundry and go to a kickboxing class I've been putting aside ,and when I showered I actually let the conditioner sit in my hair for 5 whole minutes!! I'm still not sure I'm going to beat the 30-day mark, especially since my editing habits have me returning to correct my mistakes and changes. For example, the protagonist's dad, I've decided, past away a few years ago, so she can't refer to him in the current day in the story -- needed to change that before moving on.

      How do people write without editing? It's another art form I need to master. :-1