Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Keeping Track of NaNoWriMo IRL (In Real Life)
My friend and fellow writer, Marta Smith has an awesome way she keeps her NaNoWriMo status. She paints her fingernails blue, and I mean Blue. That's to remind her to write. Then she adds silver crackle to one nail for every 5,000 words she finishes. So her fingernails become a visible progress bar. Isn't that awesome!
I just have one problem: I'm a guy, and as much as I would totally paint my fingernails as a joke or for Halloween, I'm not going to go to work all month with painted fingernails.
So, here are a few ideas for my fellow dudes to track our NaNo status IRL. (Dudettes, you can use them too if you want.)
Public Shaming Option
Go ahead and paint your fingernails just like Marta. Choose a bright, bold color. Then for every 5K words you can remove the paint from one nail.
I predict that the guys who use this option will be finished with their 50K before the first work day of the month (or they'll take a couple sick days).
Discomfort Option #1
While this one is not as effective as the first, it hits a little closer to the wallet.
Go get 10 credit-card-sized cards. These can be from your stash of store rewards cards you barely use, or credit cards, old calling cards, empty gift cards, whatever. You just need 10. Cram them into your wallet. You've got to sit on that uncomfortable beast until you hit your word count goals. For every 5K words take one out.
Discomfort Option #2
This one is similar to the other discomfort option. This time get 10 extra keys and put them on your primary key ring. Not the one you keep in your bag or on your nightstand. I'm talking about the keys you carry with you in your pocket everywhere you go. Painful, I know. But for every 5K words you get to take a key off.
Reverse Progress Bar
Go buy 10 of your favorite candy. Go ahead and get the good stuff, king-sized if you want. When you get home, hot glue all of it to some poster board. For every 5K words, take one off and enjoy. Bonus: If hot glue and poster board isn't manly enough for you feel free to epoxy those suckers to a 2x4.
Discomfort Option #3
This one takes a bit more setup. Get an old T-shirt you don't wear anymore. I know you've got dozens of them. Then buy some Velcro (the kind that already has glue on the back) and 10 bean bags (you can usually pick these up for cheap at your local Goodwill). Attach the bean bags to the shirt with the Velcro. Make sure you use the soft side of the Velcro on the T-shirt.
Throw that lumpy mass of cloth and beans into your favorite recliner or your spot on the couch. You have to sit on it while watching TV, but for every 5K words you finish you can take one bean bag off the shirt.
I hope these ideas inspire some of my fellow writers to keep typing...Keep Typing...KEEP TYPING. We're halfway through. Huzzah!
If you have other creative ways to motivate you through Nano let me know in the comments.
* The photo is a real picture of Marta's nails near the beginning of the month. I think it was taken by Ali Cross. If you want to use it you'll have to get a hold of them. Thanks Ali and Marta for sharing this cool idea.