November 11, 2011

Hold in the pee, let out the words

Today is day 11 of NaNoWriMo (as well as the eleveniest day of our lives!) and all those upright ones have got me thinking about productivity. Actually, productivity has got me thinking about productivity. You see, after getting a little bit behind in the first week, I am now on track to actually "win" NaNoWriMo.

Take that, naysayers! By which, of course, I mean myself. I was my own biggest doubter, and now I am surprised.

Here's what happened: on NaNoWriMo's site there is a graph showing my progress compared to the goal. When my word count dropped below the line, it made me sad. Now that it's above the line, it makes me happy. Which is to say that I have learned a really elementary lesson about getting shit done: setting goals is an excellent way of achieving them.

Sounds pretty basic, right? I should have known it before. I have even engaged in write-as-much-as-I-can events before (Write-a-Thon, I'm looking at you), which should have given me this insight. But it didn't. It took looking at the very specific, very challenging (for me) goals on a silly little graph to kick me in the butt to actually DO IT.

So I kind of feel like a moron. But also proud.

And while I'm sharing my moronitude, here's another trick I learned to boost my productivity: writing in bed. It's a little silly, but for me it's brilliant. It combines laziness with accomplishment, rewarding my work with the awesome benefit of getting to put off the day a little longer. As long as I keep writing (and don't have to pee) I get to stay in my warm, comfy bed. I am writing on average 500 words a day this way, words that I suspect would otherwise be lost in the urgent needs of morning.

Also, my cat gets to help