Getting Motivated for NANO

Lots of things going on for me this week, a fun change from my recent laziness.  My friend Ari just moved to Puerto Rico a few days ago, hopefully for an indefinite stay. Friends of my girlfriend are coming from Sweden for a half-day on Wednesday, we go to Vegas for Jeff’s birthday weekend on Thursday, and head to LA for a week on Sunday.


On top of entertaining/traveling I have a chunk of crypto research to complete/some monthly accounting to take care of, plus normal life errands like cleaning up the mop of hair that is on my head right now.  Biggest of all though work-wise is starting the Nanowrimo challenge.


I blogged about the possibility of doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge a few times recently, but I didn’t have the motivation to commit.  Writing an average of 2k words a day for a month straight (with the inevitable missed days/double days for makeup) is a tremendous challenge for me. I did it years ago, and my novel surprised me by finishing early around 35,000 words, so I didn’t quite meet the 50k word goal, but it felt quasi-successful.


I write around 700 words per hour when I’m not being distracted, although I often get above 1,000 wph once I get going in a novel.  Even at 1,000 wph it’s still a solid 2 hours of butt in the chair focusing.  On a scale of difficulty I would say meditating (truly trying to focus on the breath, not just running through my daily errands) is harder than writing, writing is much harder than programming, and programming is pretty damn hard!  Hopefully the meditation I’ve been doing will help with the discipline.


I honestly didn’t have the motivation to do Nanowrimo until two days ago.  It was scary as I have had time recently, but my focus and discipline for anything has been terrible.  Saturday night it hit me though, and Sunday it stuck.


My friend Ari gave some common sense advice to me.  He likened my lack of motivation/interest in writing lately to working out.  When you have a long break it doesn’t sound appealing to get back to the gym, you’re super sore when you do and it’s a bit demoralizing, but eventually if you stick with it you become used to it, and very glad that you’re back at it.  


That was a big help, and the thing that cemented the insight was from ingesting a bit of psychedelics.  I rarely drink, no prescription meds, no pot, but a few times a year I take psychedelics that give me the mental/therapeutic boost needed in my life.  After my trip I had a huge personal realization about my writing audience.  Just like how I’m happy with the small and personal reach of my blog, I’m totally fine if I write a novel and only a small group of people read it, likely the same people who read my blog.  It freed me up mentally to the idea of writing something that would be a little weird and my taste vs something that I felt random strangers would like.


I’m still a long way from now to “The End” of a first draft, let alone an edited/polished copy, but I’m going to give it a shot.  Looking forward to updating everyone on the progress of what will be a challenging (but exciting) month.


Leaving you with some pics from Rio Grande (an area near the rainforest here in Puerto Rico) and the treehouse Airbnb we stayed in last weekend.


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