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!
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!
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. 😦