Nanowrimo – Report Card #4

23rd Nov 2010

Nanowrimo – Report Card #4

What did week 3 of Nanowrimo have in store for Jo?…

Remember how last week I was professing that week two of NaNoWriMo is Hell Week? And I was all, “Seriously, it’s worse than quitting smoking, having psoriasis, eating liver and onions, on a Tuesday afternoon the week before payday… TIMES INFINITY”?

Well, I was wrong. Much to my surprise, week three has been considerably worse. I finally hit the halfway mark, a milestone in the project, you might say. And that was great, but as is always the case with me, in my head this minor achievement deserved some kind of reward. And whenever I reward myself for accomplishing even the most minor tasks, I continue to assure myself that I don’t need to work so hard anymore. Basically this means my limited concentration span becomes even more lax, and I am opened up to a world of distraction.

Still riding high on the ‘I’ve hit 25,000 words’ wave, my brain hit automatic-excuse-for-not-doing-any-work mode, which looks a bit like this:

What I failed to understand was that the 25,000 word milestone was exactly that. It wasn’t the end goal, and pretty soon, I was 3000 words in debt. Despite having this realisation, I proceeded to congratulate myself on reaching 25,000 words and did one or more of the following pointless activities:

I Joined a Gym

This was to counteract weight gain caused by excessive sandwich eating and sitting still. I mentioned this before, but I had also repeatedly told myself (based on no actual fact) that exercising would give me more energy. In reality, I’m so physically exhausted when I return from the gym, that barely have the strength in my fingers to type.

I Changed Operating Systems

I convinced myself that it was pointless to continue working on NaNoWriMo using Windows XP. There is no actual logic attached to this train of thought, so don’t try to find one. But if it helps, I like Windows 7… It’s so shiny.

I Gave Myself Home-Made Facials

You may laugh in my face now, but when you see my suddenly radiant skin complexion and learn that I didn’t buy a single super-fancy product to achieve it, you won’t, because you’ll be too busy marvelling at my glowing face.

On Tuesday I mixed a banana with honey and a couple of drops of lemon juice, spread it all over my face, then wandered around the flat for fifteen minutes. Amazing. My skin was glowing afterwards. Admittedly, I looked a lot like someone had vomited all over me after a night of drinking tequila slammers and even now, I’m still picking chunks of banana out of the plughole in the bathroom – but the bottom line is, it did wonders for my skin.

I Baked Cookies

Just because I like them and I was hungry.

I Watched ‘The Shining’

Because it’s awesome and I’d never seen it before, and it was another one of those situations where I’d rented the DVD and had it so long that Lovefilm were sending me emails that were all “WTF?! You’ve had this DVD for months – WATCH IT ALREADY! Seriously, you could have bought this DVD three times with the amount of money you’ve wasted renting it from us…” And I just really needed to get Lovefilm off my back.

I Tagged Photos of Myself on Facebook

Actually, this is completely justifiable, because I found this picture from about a year ago where I have fantastically perky breasts, and I couldn’t believe how amazingly 3D they look in the picture. Naturally, I had to tag it and kept harassing my friend to confirm that my eyes weren’t deceiving me and that they really did look unusually perky in the picture she had taken of me. Technically, I could have been writing instead of doing all this, but it was definitely worth discovering that sometimes my boobs are photogenic. If you’re as flat-chested as me, (i.e. push up bras have nothing to push up and padded bras make no difference) you’ll know where I’m coming from.

At heart, every writer is a non-stop procrastinating, monster dawdle-fest, it’s just that most people procrastinate by doing things that are almost functional, and doesn’t span across entire days. This is where I have to give the Novelist kudos, because his procrastinating is so amazingly subtle, it’s practically an art form in itself.

Ways to tell when the Novelist has been procrastinating:

  1. When he suggests films we might like to watch – complete with reviews from all viewpoints, and the odd piece of behind the scenes trivia (imdb.com)
  2. When he has seemingly instantaneous knowledge of everything that has happened in the news that day (Guardian website)
  3. When he can instantly answer all the clues in the crossword (as above)
  4. If he randomly reminds me of a friend’s birthday (Facebook)
  5. If, two days later, a package arrives from Amazon.co.uk

What I admire about the Novelist’s procrastination, is that he genuinely appears to be working the entire time. I don’t know how he does it. But in any case, no amount of procrastination, subtle or otherwise, is going to help me now.

To conclude, I am 6000 words behind and sinking. I take everything back, Week Two, I knew nothing of what Week Three had in store for me.

I need some motivation, and I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m not going to find it between two slices of bread, or on a treadmill. Any advice or words of wisdom are entirely welcome. In return, I’ll give you a facial for free!

Post by Jo (Jo and the Novelist)


  • Oh my! You had a great week 3, but not a great NaNoWriMo week 3. There’s still time to get back into it. Come on! What’s half a book? Now write the other half!

    • Jo and the Novelist says:

      You know how I said I was about 6000 words behind when I wrote this? Yeah – I’m now about 12000 words behind. And I’ve eaten all the cookies I made. But you’re right, there’s no point giving in now. What’s half a book to anyone?

  • Jane Bradley says:

    I’ve seen several people on Twitter singing the praises of Write or Die (http://writeordie.drwicked.com/) while NaNo-ing, might be worth investigating?

    Do we get to see this picture of your fantastically perky breasts in your next update? Maybe you can work it into your novel somehow? Keep it up! (The writing, not the breasts…)

    • Jo and the Novelist says:

      I’ve used Write or Die a couple of times, in fact, almost exclusively last year.

      However, I gave it a whirl this year, while using IT guy’s laptop, and ten minutes of merrily bashing on the keyboard, BLAM! it randomly deleted about 500 words of what I’d just written. I later discovered that the infamous Dr Wicked (whoever he may be) is having a few problems making it entirely compatible with IE. All the same, I shudder at the thought of attempting it again, and watching everything I just wrote delete itself in a second.

      But you never know, at this rate – it’s likely I’ll get desperate.

      Also – perky breasts, I’ll work on the photographic evidence. But they really are perky. Honest!