When my husband was about 11 he gained a new respect for George Washington. Most people have heard the story about George Washington as a young man chopping down the cherry tree with a hatchet, and later demonstrating his honesty by letting his angry father know that he was the one who had done it. My husband had received a new hatchet and was anxious to try it out. There was an old cherry tree that had died and he decided it was fair game for him to chop it down. That is when he learned of George Washington’s other great qualities like patience and determination… cherry wood is very hard wood…and a dull hatchet was no match for it.
Later when he read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey, he was introduced to the concept of sharpening a saw. Basically the idea is that you can spend 5 hours chopping down a tree, or you could spend 3 hours sharpening the saw and 1 chopping down the tree. Determination is a great thing and pushing forward through the cherry tree, even if you are half way through… with a dull hatchet…is going to be very hard work.
So whether you are half way through or far less that your word count goal at this point, take a moment to take stock of how effective your saw is. If you are cutting through as well as you would like to, maybe you need to sharpen your saw. How do you do this? Number one, celebrate what you have done so far…..
Take a walk and enjoy nature
Go Play Laser-tag!
Find some cool wallpapers or images inspired by NaNo (just google it)
Redbox and popcorn
Warm Bath – bubbles, bath salts and your favorite candle are all splendid options
Enjoy food? Maybe eat out (don’t worry, your computer will be fine) or make your favorite recipe or purchase a favorite indulgence at the store
Read a short story from a favorite author
Watch a sunset
Go to bed early and enjoy sleeping in your bed instead of staying up late to bleed out another hundred words
Play video games with your kids or friends
Go for a drive
Or Your choice!
Meanwhile a wide array of rewards and parties for the end of the month. Check out the site and see the perks offered by sponsoring companies – like a deep discount to the writing program Scrivener awarded to NaNo winners! Plus, parties and celebrations are being planned and prepared for by the local groups, awaiting us at the finish line – be it 50k or the end of the month! So after you’ve taken your break to sharpen your saw, return to the task refreshed – mentally and creatively – ready to tackle the challenge! It’s not over yet. People have been known to pull off a full 50k in 10 days, so there is hope, even for me!