NaNoWriMo and Whole30

Because writing 50 000 words in a month isn't hard enough.

Back in 2013, when I was fresh out of university and broke as a joke, I didn't have much cash for entertainment purposes. No TV. No Internet. No social life. Basically I read a lot and watched DVDs from the library. I'd got it in my head that I wanted to be a screenwriter, and I'd started research for a screenplay that still hasn't gotten past the research stage, when I stumbled across a little thing called National Novel Writing Month.

The name says it all, and it was enough to draw me in.

November 2013 was when my first novel, Along Came December, went from a crappy 400-word scene to a crappy 52 000-word first half of a story. It took me much longer than one month to get it to the stage where I could realistically call it a novel, and even longer to make it even halfway presentable, but NaNoWriMo holds a special place in my heart for kickstarting my first book.

I tried to replicate that success in 2014 and 2015 without success, which I chalk up to being distracted by my still (at the time) unfinished first novel. As said before, I struggle to juggle multiple stories simultaneously. Struggle to juggle. That's almost cute. Anyway, those two years were a bust. But now that I'm finished with ACD, I'm giving it another go.

This year I'm working on a novel I false-started on during both NaNoWriMo 2014 and NaNoWriMo 2015. It's a whodunit, set in a fictional small town in Montana, and I expect it to have a very different flavor than ACD. More literary. More factual. (I may have fudged some stuff in Along Came December for the sake of story. Mostly how long it takes for forensic testing. So sue me.) I'm also hoping it will be shorter than ACD, but I guess I'll have to wait and see.

So that's NaNoWriMo. What the hell is Whole30?

Whole30 is a thing you do when you've eaten entirely too much chocolate and pastries and feel like a ball of crap. I've done sugar detoxes twice before and felt great, but always gave into the siren song of tasty things soon afterward. Whole30 is a sugar detox to the power of, heck, let's say 30. It's like a hard reset of your brain chemistry, tastebuds, and general tolerance of processed food.

I remember eating a Cadbury creme egg shortly after my last sugar detox (which was about 50 days long), and feeling like my brain was buzzing from the sugar rush. It was concerning and very unpleasant, but instead of taking that as a sign that my body runs better without toxic levels of sugar, I ate more chocolate until the feeling went away. #genius

Right now I'm feeling like I need a good hard kick in the ass to get my nutrition on track, and Whole30 is the best way to do that. I figure November will already be tough with NaNoWriMo, so why not throw in some serious food restriction on top, just for good measure? It's not like I eat sweets when I'm writing or anything. Definitely not. Ahem.

Am I sabotaging myself? Maybe. I'd rather think about it as setting myself up for double the success. By December 1 I should have the bulk of my next novel done, and be feeling way better physically. Win-win.

If you'd like to follow along with my NaNo progress, keep an eye on the ol' progress meter on my About page, or check out my NaNo profile directly. It's kinda sparse-looking right now, but hey. I'll try to fill in some scintillating info over the next few days. As for Whole30, I'll keep you posted right here on the blog. Good luck to me.