Looking for Distractions from NaNoWriMo?

It's Day 6 and the drive to complete that novel is dissipating.  You're looking for distractions to keep yourself from writing.  Here is a list of 5 distractions so that you can just do them and get them out of the way so you can get back to writing.  I'm trying to focus on productive distractions so that you're still keeping those creative juices flowing, even if it's not towards your novel.

-Write a Blog Post-

Got a website?  Write a blog post.  I'm totally not distracting myself from my own novel right now.  Nope.  Totally not.  Try and focus your blog post in the NaNoWriMo direction:  talk about the novel you're writing, the progress you've made, how many activities (writing sprints/dares) you've participated in, or tips you think would help someone complete their goal.  Try and be that inspiration for someone else to get back at it, as well as yourself.

-Peruse the NaNoWriMo Website-

There's a lot of little creative things to do on the NaNo website.  I just submitted my novel to the 30 Days, 30 Covers event.  If they end up picking up your novel to do a cover for, imagine the confidence boost that would give you to get you to that 50k mark.  It's free publicity, too, if you're planning on trying to get it published later.  Deadline to enter is November 15.

Participate in some forum stuff.  Just takes a few minutes to post all your social media handles in the appropriate forum to unlock the Conversing badge and get some people interested in you.  There's also plenty of other forums to talk about any number of things, from genres to writing tips to role playing to critiques and more.  Find some new buddies.

And speaking of badges, flesh out your NaNoWriMo profile by updating all the personal achievement badges such as declaring yourself a panster or planner (or both), confessing that caffeine is what is getting you through the day, or that you've been procrastinating in new and amazing ways.  Be sure to fill out the rest of your profile if you haven't already, or update it if you've made a change to the story.

-Get Out and Talk to People-

Andy Weird just did a NaNo pep talk telling you not to tell your friends or anyone else that will listen about your story. "Telling your story to friends verbally satisfies that need for an audience, and it diminishes your motivation to actually write it." I'd take it with a grain of salt.  When I tell people about my book, I get excited to write it.  I want to pump it out faster so they can read it.  Every time I tell them "Well, I can't spoil it" I want to write it even more so that they can experience it themselves, too.  So try it.  Talk to someone, and more likely than not, you can get feedback or ideas to get you writing again.

-Make Accessories for Your Novel-

If you didn't already do it for your NaNo prep, try and be creative in expressing your novel in other formats.  Assemble some songs that relate to your theme or story and make a soundtrack for it.  If you have any sort of Photoshop skills, throw together a mock book cover.  Or, if you don't have Photoshop skills, just find some pictures that fit the mood of your novel and create a Pinterest board for it.  If you have some real life art skills, sketch your characters or places involved in your novel.

-Stare at the Ceiling-

No, really.  Just stopping can help you restart your motivations.  Lay down and either close your eyes or focus on a spot.  Don't move much, don't do anything.  This is not the time to turn on music or watch TV.  You're just going to be silent and still.  Try not to think.  Or if you do, think about your novel, but don't try and force it.  The point is to relax and not stress.  You deserve it.  You've been kicking butt the last few days and you deserve a comfortable bed and a fluffy blanket.  After a while, you'll be tired of doing nothing and will want to get back to work.  But don't move until you have that urge to be productive.  Your brain will convince you that you wasted time laying around and need to catch up on what you were doing before you rested.  At least, it does for me.

You all good and distracted now?  Good.  Now get back to work!

-Dana Lockhart


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