#1 ‘I can’t hold my arms up anymore’ tired
Is it because you’ve been typing like hell for the past three weeks… or because the romance novel you’re currently reading in your off hours is printed on too heavy paper? TBD. Do bass player finger stretches. (Google them, they’re awesome.) Have your partner rub your wrist—I know it’s not technically proven to help, but you’ll sure feel better afterwards. Let go of the computer mouse for a while. Or just take a plain, simple rest.
#2 ‘My eyes are going into a union-organized strike’ tired
(We’ve a long a fabulous history of labor unions activity in the country.) I’m still not certain if two eyes are enough to start a union, but I’m sure to find out this November. When you find yourself in a similar situation, listen to a podcast or something. Tune down the brightness on your screen(s). Or—a radical idea—go out for a walk to rest your eyes on the green (and red and brown and yellow right now, where I’m at) in the distance. I’m really keen on my eyes, and I write on a really small screen, so this has been a recurring issue this year.
#3 ‘I can’t write another word today’ tired
Alright, I feel ya. Maybe it’s high time for you to take a break. If you’re having a complete system shutdown, how about you take a day, too? There’s procrastination tired, but there’s tired tired, too. The struggle is real.
#4 ‘I can’t look at this novel any more’ tired
Well, there’s one way of looking at it—you’ll only have to look at it like this for a few days more. (Unless you’re taking it further into editing, which… can we talk about this next month, pretty please?) On December the 1st, everything will be right and well with the world once more—and you’ll get your well earned time off from the novel. In the meantime, did you try maybe switching things up a bit?
#5 ‘I’m not sleeping enough’ tired
It could be the dog’s fault, since he’s decided that 6:15 AM is our designated wake-up time, every. single. day. But ‘staying past your bedtime’ is a regular NaNo feature, too, so I’m not so sure it’s just that. November is a curious month—you’ve got so much to do, and even when you cull the excess activities from your life, there’s still not enough time to write as much as you might like to, every day. The only ‘advice’ I’d have to say is—put yourself first. It’s just writing (gasp!)—and health does come first even in November, after all.
#6 ‘I’ve had my permission to procrastinate revoked’ tired
The end is nigh, innit? The beginning of November might have seen your house cleaned up to pieces, and all the non writing related tasks you’ve been putting off finally completed, but November’s almost done. The last week of NaNo—starting today—is not a time of reflection, but of compensation. Do the final few thousands words. Take this weekend—if you’re not participating in a cosplay fashion show or running children’s workshops as some of us are—to boost your wordcount. After all, the world might end come Monday.
#7 ‘My characters are going through shit and I feel sorry for them’ tired
Yup, I’m in the heartbreak phase. If you’re having similar issues, try to remind yourself, as I constantly do, that it’ll get better for them in the next chapter (or, in my MCs’ case, in the next book). And to see that happen, you should probably write this chapter, too. Your poor little writer’s heart will get better when you’re done, promise.
#8 ‘Spread out too thin over too much wordage’ tired
I rememember the days when I would struggle to get even 300 words out, not to mention the 1667. And how about the days when (due to some personal feeling of challenge or future planning) I tried to aim at 5k, which is about double my current writing pace? Or last Sunday night, when I needed just a few hundreds more—and then just another few hundred words more—to get to where I was headed? Oh, let us not ponder the wordcount issue anymore, or we’ll all end up in a ditch somewhere.
#9 ‘I want to write, but life’ getting in the way’ tired
That’ weekends for you—all the time and space, buy you have to cram in writing and family and friends and tattoo expos and giving your dog at least a little bit of walking love. Choosing between your writing and your life is not a decision to be taken lightly, and you’re the only one who can make that one. I try to go with my gut feeling (as usual) and not to sweat the losses too much.
#10 ‘I’m not sure it’s even worth it anymore’ tired
Do you have your ‘why the fuck’ statement? If you don’t, try writing one, just for fun and practice. (Just don’t procrastinate over it for too long.) The first time I’ve written one was somewhere around the time I was reading Yoon Ha Lee, and it really helped me remember I was putting something valuable out there into the world—if only for the precious few people with a similar set of issues, preferences and life experience to mine. Some people call it ‘motivation’. I’d say it more of a inevitability thing.
#11 ‘But I want to write something else‘ tired
I was lucky enough to be writing something else, all along this November—these posts here, day after day. I’ve got a feeling they’ve actually helped! Also, during one of my first writing marathons in 2019, early on in the year, I took a full Sunday morning off to write 3,5k of glorious fanficition, and I think it helped me land a local writing stipend, because I wrote better noveling copy after that, too—I was just so hyped. I guess what I’m trying to say is—can you spare a few minutes to write something else today, or tomorrow? Once you start writing regularly, if the muses are on your side, writing gets easier altogether. Sure, there’s nothing I like more that whining about writing—but writing itself is kind of fun, too…
#12 ‘Is it December yet?’ tired
Oh, well. Hold on tight, writer. It’ll all be over soon.