Inanity · Writing

I think I’ve got a bad case of NaNopathy.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, then you should probably know – or already know – that possible side effects may occur. Sure, NaNo is pretty fun, but there’s a dark side to it too that Wrimos usually neglect to mention in order to suck more people in. Well… maybe not so dramatic, haha.

First up we have the Writing’s On The Brain syndrome, where you will think about your novel all the time. You may be at work and feel the urge to write, so you open the document and sneak in a few words when nobody’s looking. You may dream about writing. You might try to invent a way to waterproof your laptop or notebook so you can write in the bathroom. Severity of this syndrome may vary from one person to the other.

Next we have Word Count Envy. Oh don’t look away in shame; we’ve all been there at one point. We’ve all watched the little blue bars of our writing buddies zoom ahead and leave us in their dust. It’s perfectly normal. In fact, it gives us enough motivation to keep going!

Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at

Who can forget the Compulsive Backing Up syndrome? I didn’t suffer from it when I first tried NaNo, but when my computer gave me the Blue Screen of Death and I lost all my work, I now try to save my work the best I can… and as many times as I can. This year I’ve been using Dropbox, which always allows me to sleep easy at night.

Then there’s the Oh-God-My-Novel-Sucks-I-Hate-Everything syndrome. At one point during your writing adventure, you will start to doubt yourself, you will feel like trashing everything you wrote, and your inner editor might start doing a little victory dance in the back of your head as you try to go back and mend what can be mended. Solution? Just keep writing!

Don’t listen to your cat either! (also used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi)

You might have developed something most Wrimos develop on the onset of the month – the I-Have-No-Social-Life common cold. It is usually associated with the Stay-Away-From-Me cough and the I-Don’t-Like-People headache. If symptoms become too severe, we recommend a dose of Non-Writing Time. Crazy, yes, but it works!

Finally, if you’re a blogger, you might be going through a temporary case of amnesia known as Blog? What blog? in which your posting schedule goes haywire, your blogging presence drops off the charts and your hits and comments steadily decrease. Solution: if you don’t have time for full-blown posts, at least do some NaNo updates (I know I’ve been bad at this!).

Please note that symptoms may vary from one Wrimo to the other. Most can be cured with a shot of caffeine or a slab of chocolate. If for any reason you feel anxious about any NaNo disease you may have, do consult your nearest veteran or municipal liaison… though at first make sure you’re not interrupting their writing time.

Have you been suffering from any NaNo diseases lately? How are you dealing with them? I’m currently dealing with a genuine common cold, and it has not been fun in the slightest. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

25 thoughts on “I think I’ve got a bad case of NaNopathy.

  1. Wonderful post, Zen! You covered it all. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m still writing with an “I don’t care if I finish” attitude, but when I see the word count of other writers, I want to surpass them! At least for a few minutes. My biggest problem is writing when I may not be ready to write yet. I’ve been kind of cranky lately (mostly because of a glitch with book marketing), and in my entire first chapter, Susan is whiny and cranky! I even gave her a cappuccino, and she still wasn’t happy. … Hope you get to feeling better soon.

    1. Thank you, Maddie! Haha, I know what you mean. I use the word counts of others as motivation. =D And I hope you get the book marketing sorted out, it would suck if Susan was cranky throughout the book. And I’m taking my medicines, but now I’m suffering from all the side effects too, haha.

  2. I’m more in the “My-writing-is-awful-so-it-won’t-matter-anyway” mood right now. It caught up with me pretty quickly. Really need to break through it.
    Very funny summing up!

  3. I’m in a ‘zone’ right now. Not sure which zone it is though. Might be a zombie zone, or a tired to the max zone, or hell another zip zone. Hmmmm just plain zoned I guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. You poor thing putting up with a cold as well!! I hope you’re feeling better soon ;(

    I don’t envy you this month – it’s a lot of work, but it will all be worth it in the end. Very funny post ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Blog? What blog? Oh I’ve got it all! Hi Zen! My word count sucks! So I don’t even look at anyone else’s, to scary. Hey if anyone wants another writing buddy, I’m “My Different Corners” I think I still have all my old ones from last year and they aren’t doing anything, so I really don’t have to compete with anyone, guess that could be a good thing.

    1. Hi, Karen! I found you and added you. My word count isn’t doing too well either on account that I have a cold and it’s really affecting my writing. =[

      1. Hi Zen. I am so sorry about your cold. I hope you feel better soon. I’m behind because I am working on a short story for a collection with about 10 other authors. I believe it’s going to be titled “Festive Shorts and will be out in Dec. Once I get that out of the way this weekend, hopefully I can get my head back into Nano!

  6. Oh. My. Gosh! You said blue screen of death!!! That’s what I’ve called it (when that happens) for three years now!!! I’ve never heard anyone else say that LOL!
    Okay…got that out, I’m better now…

    Love the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Haha, that’s what I always call it! Sometimes I call it Blue Screen of Doom too, because you know you’re inevitably doomed once that wretched screen comes up.
      Thank you, Daphne. =D

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