Contemporary Fiction Author, Infrequent Blogger & Retired Clown

And then the panic sets in.

It’s appropriate that today is Halloween because I feel terrified.

But the source of my terror is not witches, goblins or extra calories from sugary candy–it’s NaNoWriMo. The kick off is tomorrow and somehow I already feel behind. The weeks of plotting and planning I’ve done suddenly seem equal to training for a marathon by walking back and forth to the kitchen a couple of times.

I’m trying to calm my nerves by getting all of my usual excuses and chores put to bed. I did my grocery shopping (even though I abhor going to Wal-Mart on a Sunday), did the laundry, started prematurely packing the Halloween decorations and I’m planning to do a little cleaning before the day is out.

But my main concern is all the distractions offered by the Internet. I thought about blocking a few sites where I seem to spend the most time (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, celebrity gossip blogs and my fantasy football website) but the list started getting out of control. At this point I may as well turn off the WiFi on my laptop. But then how will I keep up with all my fellow NaNo-ers? What if somebody sends me a super important e-mail? What if another Hollywood couple breaks up and I’m the last to know? I can’t go Internet-less for a month.

I need an egg timer. I could just set it for 10 minutes and surf my heart out, then when that buzzer goes off it’s back to work. That seems like an okay solution, right? Until I start doing that every half hour. My writing hours are very limited as it is between work and basic needs (i.e. food, water and sleep). No, I must be strong. Writing is more important. I will survive.

I had hoped to have my new office set up by now, but unfortunately that hinges on my parents moving into their new condo which VyStar seems hell bent on postponing until the end of time. My old office (a.k.a. the walk-in closet in my guest room) has been overtaken by miscellaneous items like vacuum cleaners and winter blankets (why do I have winter blankets? I live in Florida!) that never seem to fit anywhere else. Ugh, I might have to unplug my TV.

The good news is, I did pick up some essentials at the store for surviving NaNo. I’ve got about 2lbs. of Tootsie Rolls (satisfies the chocolate cravings, gives you a little sugar/caffeine boost and the chewing will keep the brain going), EasyMac (mix in a cut-up hot dog and you’ve got a full meal in under 4 minutes–it’s a college staple) and Mountain Dew for when I need an extra kick. I also grabbed a one subject notebook for scratching out a few ideas when the blinking cursor starts to make my eye twitch.

But you know what the best thing about NaNoWriMo is? You know that no matter how terrified you are, there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world feeling the same way. You can’t beat the camaraderie of this event! And on that note, I wish all of my fellow NaNo participants the best of luck in this year’s competition, because ready or not…

…here it comes!

Later days,

– Shannon

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