No Writing Allowed

KSBrooks at Mesa Verde
Or you could just go somewhere with no internet and no electricity.

Let’s face it, writing a book is hard work. You might even break a sweat, or pop a cog in your brain. Who wants to do that? So, enter November – NaNoWriMo – National No Writing Month. This is one month where we authors, writers and scribes can legitimately rest our brains from the toils of our literary efforts. I know, I know, it won’t be easy – so here are some tips to keep yourself from writing that book without losing your edge.

#1 – Committees and meetings are an excellent way to prevent progress on any level. So, form a committee for your book! Find a bunch of people who also write and invite them to your own Yahoo!, Facebook, or Goodreads group. If you can actually get them to pay attention to anything you have to say in between announcements of their free eBooks and basic spamming, you might get some input. That input will probably spark a discussion. That discussion will most likely get sidetracked onto the subject of kittens or television shows. See? It works.

#2 – Toy with your blog. You’ve been neglecting it anyway, haven’t you? You know those little Google ads on your sidebar – click-throughs on those should add up to like a whopping 1/8th of a cent per year, right? Gotta get more content to get more clicks to get more pennies. But no, writing on your blog still counts as writing. So be slick and get a few people to write some guest posts for you. Not everyone will be taking a writing hiatus.

#3 – Still feeling the jones to write? Well then, worry about your title now. I mean, how can you write a book if you don’t know what to call it? At least come up with a working title. You can’t go around referring to the book as ‘the book’ or ‘it’ – how will you bond with it? Don’t even think about writing one word on that project until you know what to call it. I mean, you wouldn’t pop out a nameless kid, would you?

#4 – Came up with a title, already? Well, then, next you should deliberate over what the cover should look like. That cover could dictate what you write inside…never mind letting the cover reflect the story. It should be vice versa. You’ve got to get that straight in your head before you start writing. That ought to keep your brain busy for a while.

#5 – Editors and BETA readers…Just thinking about them makes you want to suck every word back into your brain, doesn’t it? You know someone will be dissecting your baby once you’re done – so use this time to think carefully about what you’re going to write. Just don’t write it – yet.

#6 – If the thought of editors doesn’t scare you into not writing for a month – how about reviewers? There’s bound to be someone out there just waiting in the wings to slap a one-star review on your freshly released book because they didn’t “get” it. Why rush into that? I can’t imagine why someone would confuse your rock-solid, machine-gun-toting, half-cyborg hero for a quivering mama’s boy afraid his wife will leave him at every turn, but you know that person is out there just waiting for you.

#7 – Solitaire. Cards are good for clearing the mind. Numbers…those really give you a break from the literary process. More of a games person? Then pick your poison – Farmville or Faceville or whatever it is – just get yourself away from writing. Remember, if you avoid writing now, think of how fresh and rearing to go you’ll be come December first! You can do it!

#8 – Tell everyone about the premise of your book. Put that outline up on your blog, website, Facebook page, etc., and someone is bound to steal your idea and write the book for you. Think of all the work you’ll have saved yourself!

#9 – Spend November working on grand marketing schemes and publicity strategies. Design some logos for bookmarks, calendars, mugs, tee-shirts, and even set up your own Zazzle store. That’s a great time suck and will make you a dollar here and there which you can put towards writerly stuff in December.

#10 – Plan an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner. This should double as the occasion to celebrate your avoidance of writing for an entire month. You can use some creative symbolism in your dishes to acknowledge your authorly status, such as: Sparkly Vampire Cranberry Sauce, Mushrooms with Oscar Wilde Rice, Broccoli Shakespeares Almondine, Edgar Allan Turkey Po’ Boys, and more. Have some fun with that!

Well, congratulations if you manage to make it through November without writing anything. I know it will be difficult, but it won’t be anywhere nearly as tough as actually writing a book.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director (AKA Fearless Leader) of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is a staff photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two eastern Washington newspapers. She currently teaches writing and self-publishing for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and has served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page

29 thoughts on “No Writing Allowed”

  1. Ha ha – thanks for this, just made my evening. On one hand, I do admire those who are going to give it a shot next month, but on the other hand, I also think they’re nuts πŸ™‚

  2. Never tried NaNoWriMo, but I’ve written a book in a month before. A very rough draft of course. I think though, that as I’ve been working on some of the other things you spoke about in the last month, I can get back into the swing of things with this November challenge. I will however, still be making a big dinner at some point as a reward lols.

    Nice post :).

    1. I hear you. Since you’ve managed to write a book in a month on your own, Jackie, you’ll probably be able to pull off two during NaNoWriMo, right? πŸ˜‰ Heh. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ˜€

  3. Yep, #1, Yep #2, Yep #3 — calling it TTHR works, Yep #4 — doing that now, Yep #5, Yep #6, No #7 – don’t have time for games as I am too busy doing 1-6 and 8-9 so that about covers it. You nailed me to a TEE, Kat. hahahaha.

    I tried camp nanowrimo and got side tracked because it was summer, duhh!!! πŸ™‚

        1. LOL, no, I’ve already got 3 to write. I thought maybe you might want to join the challenge and also write three. OR, my reward for writing three is cupcakes from Ms. Boris and another author is going to send me gluten-free donuts. I’m probably going to need some coffee with those baked goods, so you’re welcome to up the ante and send some my way. πŸ˜‰

  4. Love the idea, Kat! I’d much rather sip lattes and discuss book covers than open my veins with an ice pick and let all that crap I call writing flow onto my keyboard.

  5. Great fun. Unfortunately, NaNo isn’t. BUT, is it worthwhile? Is it a great way to kickstart a novel? Can it be endured? Yes, yes, and yes. I did it 2 years ago, skipped last year, and am going for it again this year. Only problem, it’s coinciding with the launch of my first book, Message from Panama, which should be out next week. Don’t know if I can handle both but giving it a shot.

  6. I don’t understand the concept, Kat. I’m too busy trying to clear the other crap out of the way so that I can concentrate on that sequel I’ve been trying to get to work on. But thanks for that, Kat, and good luck with that guys!

  7. Nov. ! has started already for us Aussies and I’m afraid all your good advice came too late for me. I’ve begun! Only another 48,000 words to go. πŸ˜€ Gotta love timezones. Good luck everyone!

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