Progress Report

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anyone can do housework

Progress Report

I have been behind ever since I started this nanowrimo schtick. And then, just now, I realised my time zone was still set to Wellington, GMT +12.

So I’m ahead! Hurrah! How did that happen? Hard to say for sure. Possibly the thought that I was behind was a good motivator and I did a few fear-induced 2000+ days in a row.

Tips? Anyone want high-productivity tips? As a pro-wrimo (which is bollocks – no one gets paid to wrimo) this is what I reccommend for getting stacks of writing (or other creative projects) done:

1. Have a plan. Stick to it, or not, as you like, but have one to start with.

2. Lower your standards. Whether you’re writing a nanowrimo novel or doing a sketch that might one day hide beneath layers of oil paint, on a canvas, on the walls of the Louvre (aim high, by all means), the thing you’re doing NOW will not be seen by anyone but you. I’m not writing a novel; not really. I’m writing a FIRST DRAFT.

3. Multi task if it helps. But only if it helps.

4. Talk to other writers (or artists of your medium)… but don’t talk about your current work in progress much. Or at all. Very tempting, yes, but if you talk it all out you risk losing your urgency to create it.

5. Lower your standards. Yes, I already said that, but this time I mean standards about everything else: how regularly the laundry pile renders the basket invisible, how regularly the kids watch two hours together of television, how regularly you eat the same thing for lunch and dinner in the same day… just chill man. It’s not forever. And even if it were, no one is remembered for the terrible laundry habits.

Consider getting some help around the house.

I have a few warnings too:

1. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Don’t take on another big project at the same time.

2. Don’t get lost in another world. Literally, of course, as well as literary (Heh, see what I did there.) I’ve been rereading Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s a favourite of mine. It’s similar in genre to what I’m writing for nanowrimo, so it’s helpful – almost like research – but it’s also short. Starting to read some fantastic series of enthralling novels that will keep you up till well past bedtime and utterly absorb you into their world is not going to help you write about your own other world. It’s going to suck up your time and make you feel like your story is totally rubbish. Just for a short time, be wary of great books (especially if they’re also long, and/or inspire fanfiction).

3. Your body needs good fuel to go well. Don’t live on caffeine and candy unless you’re happy writing the same way you did when you were fourteen, period one english, monday morning, after a long weekend of slumber parties. The occasional chocolate and a few cups of coffee a day will not doom you to create rubbish, but if you’re not getting a bit of actual nutrition, some sleep and the occasional foray into the outside world, a tad of exercise, some sun (if they have that in the northern hemisphere this time of year, damn it)… then it’ll take it’s toll.

Don’t let the rain win; go for a walk.

That’s it from me. Back to my other world – late 18th century London, in case you were wondering.