- If you’re reading, you’re not writing. Which is fairly obvious, but some people’s brains just don’t like that.
- Assuming you are reading something other than Prince of Wolves by Quinn Loftis, what you’re reading has probably been edited the HECK out of. The story has been edited AS WELL as the words. You read this and go to your NaNoWriMo story and say, “This can never compare. I’m hopeless, my words are awful, and my story is DOOOOMED!” And then you tell yourself, “I should give up now.” But you shouldn’t! No, you shouldn’t! Yes, your words are terrible, and your story is all over the place and full of plot holes that make no sense. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Keep writing and pick up the pieces when November is finally over!
- You may or may not write in the same place you read. (I do). If I’m reading, my books end up populating my workspace, and then I have nowhere to sit, and then I can’t write.
- Once in a blue moon, even experienced readers get papercuts. And since the universe is a bitch, you’re guaranteed to get on in November, and thus your papercut finger will hurt when you type.
So, it’s time to return all (or most) of your books to library and spend November just writing. Reading is just too hazardous an acitivity right now. The books will still be there in December, I promise. If you must keep some of the books, here are my criteria:
- (SHORT) comic books are acceptable. For instance, I waited for all the three parts of Avatar: the Last Airbender: the Search to be released so I could read them all at once. The last one was released at the end of October. These are mostly pictures, and the number of pages are in the double digits.
- (SHORT) books loaned to you by friends are acceptable. You know how friends are. They want you to read something, but you can’t get it at the library, and they have a copy they loan to you and tell you that you MUST read it, or else. Well, you don’t want the OR ELSE, so you read it. —BUT— a good test of the book’s readability is this: if you’ve been reading for half an hour and haven't gotten past fifty pages, return it and tell your friend to loan it out to you in December or January instead. You’re too busy doing NaNoWriMo at this time.
- (SHORT) books about writing. I recommend No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty. It’s a quick read, it’s funny, and it’s written for NaNoWriMo. But try the same test you did for your loaned book. Read for half an hour. If you’re not at least fifty pages in, set it aside and read it in December.
- Textbooks for school, or diet books that you’re currently using are also acceptable, but only barely. If you can get by without reading the textbook, do so.
- If you are religious, you are aloud to read from your religious text (be it the bible, the Qur’an, whatever Jewish people read, etc.)
If you are particularly ambitious, you may try to keep some of your normal reading books in your November TBR, but keep the list small. If you aim to read fifteen books this November NaNoWriMo season, YOU WILL FAIL. Even if you do average 18 books a month, like me.
*Note: No offense intended to Jewish people. I don’t mean to sound insensitive or offensive regarding the religious texts, or when I tell you will fail if you try to read a lot during NaNoWriMo.
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