Chilling after a long day's writing
This year, Toronto’s NaNoWriMo region has a fantastic “adopt a day” pep talk thread. And today is my day. The only problem – overacheiver that I am, I’ve written two pep talks. If you’d like to read about my love affair with WriMos, head over to the forums and have a look at it here:
Otherwise, read on for a cat-centric version.
If you were a cat, you’d find NaNoWriMo incredibly hard. As you can probably tell, one of my cats, Max, is helping me write this pep talk, and he hasn’t got the hang of words at all. It’s possible that I’m wrong, and the above is a word in felinese, but if so, cats are even more hampered, because their words are long, the spaces all come together and the consequence for our poor CatWriMos (WriMews?) is that a lot of effort adds up to not a lot of word count. Not to mention that the ghosts in the bath cannot be left un-pounced for long.
Fortunately, you are not a cat. Whilst in other months, you may look at the life of the domesticated pet with a certain jealousy, in November, you should wake up every morning and spring out of bed grateful that you have fingers with which to type and a language where the average word length is just five letters. You are probably not as interested eating the keys as Max is, or chewing the screen like Pepsi either.
But, in spite of all these advantages, right now, with just a few days of November left, you might find yourself struggling with NaNo. You may not be a cat, but your cat (possibly in the form of your significant other / roommate / job / housework / immune system) is reaching the end of its tether at a month of playing second fiddle to your writing and is starting to climb on the keyboard and demand attention.
It’s tempting to brush them off. Whether you’re behind on word count (and by behind, I mean for your personal goal, be that 2000 or 200,000; the more I do NaNo, the more I realise 50k is entirely arbitrary) or you might be OK on words, but nowhere near the end of your plot. Or, like me, you might be OK generally, but it’s nearly the end of the month and suddenly you want to make the most of November and not squander it on your real life.
But here’s the thing. Sometimes there are things in life more important than writing. (Yes, really). So I’m here to tell you to take a moment today to stroke that cat. Talk to the person who is missing you most, take the dog for a walk, have a lie in or a nap, lay off the coffee and drink a glass of orange juice, whatever it is, take a moment today to wave to your real life and remind yourself how cool it will be to get back to it in December.
Then WRITE. Write like the wind. Write like there are only five days left of November. Head to the forums for some dares or word count tricks if that’s your thing, or meet me in chat for word wars and off the cuff plot doctoring. Lock yourself in a room or dash out to a write in. Just make sure, wherever you are, you’re WRITING. Because whatever your target is, I believe you can get there, and when you do, your cat will be waiting.
I’ll leave the last word to Pepsi. I just hope she’s not smack-talking Atlanta again!