As I mentioned on Twitter a few days ago, I managed to mess up my left hand. So there’s been a lot of awkward one-handed/hunt-and-peck sort of nonsense going on, which has just more than chopped my daily average in half. (We’re not gonna talk about how long it took to type this post up. *weeps*) It’s not too bad so far. I had a reasonable buffer by that point, so I hadn’t slipped beneath the goal bar until just today. The doctor said to wear the splint until next Wednesday, and then I can start using my hand again in little bits. But I’m pretty sure I’ll still pull off NaNo without too much more drama. *crosses fingers*
NaNoWriMo always has a great website. So beautiful, so cheerful. There’s always tons of encouragement, and I’m half in love with the daily word graph. But they added something new this year. Personal Achievement Badges. Behold!
I know this is normally the week in which I post a sample chapter, buuuuut… yeah, this is possibly the ugliest first draft I’ve ever pounded out, haha. Definitely not fit for human eyes just yet. So in lieu of burning your eyeballs out of your sockets, I’m going to give you a little tour of how I earned my PABs.
Planner. I was pretty torn on whether to give myself the planner or the pantser badge with this project. Normally, I come into these things with a pretty thorough outline and beefy packet of notes and sketches. This year, I got the idea a week before NaNo started and plowed ahead with about four pages of notes. Hardly the blank page I needed to qualify as a pantser, but a far cry from the reams of notes I usually head into this with. So it’s a little scary, but is its own kind of fun.
Tell the World. This is
probably definitely my most boring badge. I made an announcement on Twitter that I would be doing NaNoWriMo this year. Again. Like I always do. … Yup. I guess I did tell a bunch of random people and bullied a few of my friends into doing it with me, which, although much smaller in scope, was probably also much more meaningful. So I’ll take it either way.
With Gratitude. I’ve earned this one several times over, but never enough. Nano is gloriously fun for me, but it takes me away from my family a lot, especially my kids, and my husband picks up a lot of the slack. So I thanked my husband first and foremost for all his help. I thanked my kids for their patience. I also thanked my writing buddies here in Fairbanks for putting up with me all the time and being so darned encouraging. I thanked @NaNoWordSprints for all their tireless- you guessed it- sprints on Twitter that keep me motivated and entertained. And there are probably a gajillion others who deserve my thanks as well! Everyone- you are fantastic! Thank you!
Wrimo Spirit. This one’s kind of related to the one above, but the coin has been flipped. This badge was earned when I helped support other writers. So when I cheer-lead on Twitter, when I set up lunch write-ins, when I walk to my kid’s school to ask his librarian how her Nano project is going, when I keep an eye on my friend’s kid at the church activity so she can scribble in a few more words… then I get good karma and this badge. Huzzah!
Secret Noveling. Okay, so when I’m honest with myself, I probably write most of my novel in less than ideal places. My kids know all my hiding places by now: in the van, beside the potted avocado tree, in the bathroom, in the laundry room, in the guest room that is about forty degrees this time of year. Heck, I’ve even hidden behind the rocking chair in the baby’s room just to sneak in those few awesome lines before I forgot them. But I can make these things work. We’re all used to it. So I wasn’t sure if that really counted for this badge. (I spend a lot of time thinking about what really counts to earn these badges.) But then I earned it definitely-for-sure on Saturday. I was at a kids’ birthday party at the local children’s museum, and it was a lot of fun and we had a blast. But then my boys wanted to stay late and I thought, ‘Oo! My golden opportunity!’ So I slipped out my laptop (because who doesn’t bring their laptop to a kids’ birthday party complete with water tables, cheese puffs, and fluorescent cupcakes?) and tried to figure out where I could hide from my children, but still be able to see them without too much trouble. After much poking around (and very nearly settling on the bathroom foyer), I ended up hiding in the craft corner, wedged between the Lego table and the animals/continents diorama on a tiny tiny stool, but if I leaned out I could see most of the main room. And there I sat, startling every staffer trying to get back to their offices, for a solid hour. Bliss!
Game On. Word wars are my lifeblood. I can write without them. I’ll still plink out words in my one-handed turtle’s pace. But nothing gets me going like sprints. I haven’t been reporting in my pathetic word counts as much since I hurt my hand, but I still do them nearly every time I sit down to write for more than twenty minutes. I even make my writing friends do them with me during our lunches. Last time, I had prizes! I handed out little packets of candy and you got to eat one candy for every hundred words you got down. And then the person with the highest word total at the end went home with the giantest candy bar I could find. (I would have gotten a lot more candy throughout the whole affair if one of the kids didn’t run up in the middle of a sprint and make off with half my candy in a grab-and-dash maneuver. Well played, little beast. This is why I hide from these monsters while writing.)
So how about you guys? Any fellow Wrimos out there? What’s your favorite Personal Achievement Badge and how did you earn it?