Nanowrimo – Ten things to do to avoid writing…

Go online shopping. You could buy a new pen, or notepad if that makes you feel less guilty. You can’t write a book without a new pen now can you

My pad and penNanowrimo is a project to encourage you to write 50000 words, all of your very own. Why? Just because you can! How cool is that? You can support their good causes or take advantage of some awesome offers, especially if you win i.e. beat your own deadline of up to 50000 words.

The best thing about it, is that you prove to yourself that you can write a novel if you put your mind to it. As all writers know, and all budding writers should know soon enough, procrastination is the best part, so here’s my ten things to do to avoid writing:

  1. Make coffee – lots of coffee. You may need to get up at ‘sparrow’s fart’ in the morning, or stay up until you need to prop up your own eyelids with matches, so the more coffee you stock up on this month, the better. Sorry herbal tea just won’t do, save that for next month’s yoga retreat.
  2. Book next month’s yoga retreat. Yes you deserve a break. You nearly wrote a book! Yes you! If yoga isn’t your thing check out a hotel these Britannia hotels have some great deals on in the UK. Treat yourself to a night with room service.
  3. Have a lie in. Even if you don’t go on your break, you’ve been up early and late so have a PJ day, or at least a PJ half day. Only problem is you need to avoid sleep altogether the next day to make up your word count. It could be worth it.
  4. Read a book. Yes read a book. You are writing one so enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labour and read one instead. NO self pity is allowed so even if this reading makes you realise your own book is a pile of pants, at least it’s your pile of pants so don’t stress.
  5. Go online shopping. You could buy a new pen, or notepad if that makes you feel less guilty. You can’t write a book without a new pen now can you?
  6. Edit your current work. Now this would seem like writing but it really isn’t. Trawling the thesaurus to find the best replacement for that really annoying word in the first sentence, or working your way through all the names of your old class mates so you can give you villain the perfect one, is just not what Nano is all about. You need to get your word count up, so editing is not a task for this month people.
  7. Clean the house. Now I have to admit this wouldn’t be on my list at all but I know some of you out there actually enjoy this type of thing. So if it’s what floats your boat then get your vacuum cleaner out, your bottle of bleach and rubber gloves and get cracking.
  8. Skype / call someone. Now this is a great one, you can keep on your headphones so it looks like you’re working. You are still at your computer or tablet, and if any asks you can say it’s research.
  9. Plan your next book. Sadly whilst you are engrossed in one tale another is bound to pop into your head and it will not leave. Now if one is about a mass murdering zombie and the other a 19th century romance they may not weld together into a seamless piece. So you may need to make some notes before you move on with your Nano project.
  10. Research. For those new to writing this means trawling the internet for pictures of cats, videos of animals doing funny thing for looking at what is bang on trend for next season. Basically looking at anything unrelated to your book.

So, now put this list on the wall or somewhere you can see it throughout your Nano writing. You do not have time to do any of these. WRITE WRITE WRITE…this list is your reward in waiting.

Handy Shopping Links (If you use these, I earn a small commission. You are enabling me to continue writing, and keep this website and content free to you, thank you!)


I’m a writer and creativity coach focused on sharing my love of travel, writing and books. I motivate, educate and widen horizons by blogging about my world of travel and words, writing books and encouraging others to find their voice.