The Key to Surviving NaNoWriMo: Don’t “Should” Yourself, Don’t Stress, Have Fun

Are all my fellow NaNoWriMo-ers out there having fun yet? I know I am…. *grin*

Here’s how much fun I’ve been having:

On day 1 of NaNo: I didn’t get any writing done. I had a personal appointment after work that lasted until the middle of the evening, and between putting food in my belly and getting my weekly mash-up of writing links together, my muse decided it was safer to stay in his corner and drink his Grey Goose.

On Day 2 of NaNo: Again, no writing done. I was on deadline for a 30-page exchange on the WIP I worked on in Colorado at Immersion Master Class, and so I absolutely, without any exceptions, had to have those pages done! While I could’ve skipped out and my partner would’ve understood, my muse decided that if he couldn’t get me to put new words down in the newest WIP, then he’d get something outta my tail with this other one. *sigh*

On Day 3 of NaNo: No. Writing. Whatsoever. AHHHHH! By the time the appointment time for our personal ventures approached in the afternoon, I was “shoulding’” all over myself. I should’ve gotten up earlier. I should’ve stopped reading this awesome book five chapter ago. I should’ve kicked the hubs outta the bed and turned off the TV. I should’ve, I should’ve, etc. And it didn’t stop there. I ended up “shoulding” myself that night – again! *double sigh*

On Day 4 of NaNo: Nope. Nada. Nothing. Stayed up too late doing personal research with the hubs and found my body and brain just simply wanted to relax. That is, at least until another appointment that afternoon. When that was done I got excited – Yay! It’s 4:15 so there’s plenty of time to go home and get some writing done. But then my bestie’s hubby spoke a bit of wisdom: If you haven’t written all weekend, don’t start now. Finish the rest of the weekend away from it, relax, then start back tomorrow. Hmmm…. *nods a ‘yes sir’ in his direction*

On Day 5 of NaNo: Hmmm…. Dinner – check! Editing notes almost complete – check! Blog post almost done – check! Well, it looks like I’ll have just enough time to squeeze in about 2,000 words tonight after all. Huh….

My point with that little break down is this: If you’re like me and haven’t written any words into your brand-spankin’ new WIP, you may be freaking out a little. Am I right? Or you may be “shoulding” yourself for not getting earlier to get some writing done, or for keeping your nose in that delicious book you’re ready. Am I right?

Well, the “shoulding” should stop now! Because the key to NaNoWriMo is not stressing, and not “shoulding” yourself all over the place. These first few days of NaNo are GONE. Unattainable. Finito. Done. So why “should” your pants off? All that’s going to do is stress you out even more. All that stress isn’t good for anyone. Stress kills! That’s something the hubby’s always reminding me of since we lost his mother last May. And since then, I’ve tried to live by the following moto:

So when it comes to NaNo – or anything in life – a lack of stress and “shoulding” is key.


Because like most things in life, when you’re not thinking or stressing over something, somewhere along the way you’ll find your wishes, hopes and dreams will come true. If you learn to take it easy, laugh, smile and have a good time, you’ll find your wishes, hopes and dreams will come true. If that wish, hope or dream just so happens to 50k by the end of November, then guess what? If you don’t stress, then it’ll happen. If you don’t “should” yourself? The words will flow from your fingertips and you’ll find that you’ve conquered NaNo.

And if for whatever reason you find yourself short a couple thousand words on November 30th? So what…who cares…no big deal. At least you had fun, right? *grin*

So while I’m talking about having fun and not stressing, I thought I’d offer a few a things I’ve turned to make me laugh these last few days. Hope you enjoy!


Funny Southun Sayin’s and/or Southun truths:

I’m finer than frog hair split four ways.
Don’t you piss on my leg and tell me it’s rainin’!
He was as mad as a mule chewing on bumblebees.
That was faster than green grass through a goose.
Southerners know everybody’s first name: Honey, Darlin’, Shugah
Southerners know their religions: Bapdiss, Methdiss, Football
Southerners know their elegant gentlmen: Men in uniform, men in tuxedos, Rhett Butler
Southern girls know their prime real estate: The mall, the Country Club, the Beauty Salon
Southerners know the difference between a hissie fit and aconniption fit, and that you don’t “have” them, you “pitch” them. <—This is my fave – and it is SO true!
Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”
In the South, “y’all” is singular, “all y’all” is plural.
Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin’! <—AMEN! Now I want some banana puddin’ *smile*
And last but not least…. Southern girls know men may come and go, but friends are fah-evah!

Because we hardly ever get ‘ true snow’

Some new Chuck Norris “fact” I discovered online this week – ‘cause I’m a dork *smile*:

Chuck Norris won a hand of blackjack, with one card.
Jalepenos think Chuck Norris is hot.
Chuck Norris can travel through time by running 88 miles per hour.
Avatars were invented when Chuck Norris laid an uppercut to a smurf.
Chuck Norris can light a fire by rubbing 2 ice cubes together.
Chuck Norris is the only man who can set a person on fire…underwater.
Chuck Norris finished the Never Ending Story.
And last but not least…. Jason Bourne is Chuck Norris’s daughter. <—This one had me snorting soda on my keyboard.


YOUR TURN: If you’re participating this year, how’s NaNoWriMo going for you this year? Are you feeling stressed at all, or are you pretty relaxed over your word count? Whether you’re participating or not this year, how do you handle the stress that comes with life and writing? Do you often find yourself needing, craving a good laugh to get through it? Or are you finding that patch of white hair on your head getting larger by the day? 

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Copyright 2018 by Melinda S. Collins