Monday, November 12, 2012

Medical Mondays: Common Symptoms of NaNoWriMo

I've never done NaNo. Every single year, I've been in the midst of revisions in the fall, and end up joining the smaller group of writers revising their WIPs, who have no fancy banner, only the BIG RED PEN. The NaNoRevMo-ers.

But anyway. NaNo is in the air, and with it, the usual symptoms. How do you know someone is doing NaNo?

 vertiginous crazy eyes inspired by trademark ALZ eyes found here.

1. Check heart rate. 
  • Last week of October: It's running uber-fast, with all the last minute plotting and the "I haven't written it yet but it's going to be AWESOME" ecstatic inner voices screaming all over the world.
  • First week of November: Mega-fast. New words! New worlds! Getting those word counts in!
  • Second week of November: Skippity skip. The caffeine consumption steadily increases.
  • Third week of November: Sluggish, often due to the the post-apocalyptic-turkey-consumption crash. 
  • Fourth week of November: Unable to assess. Writers keep smacking away anyone who gets near them, or their laptops.
2. Check bathroom breaks. 
  • Frequent breaks = procrastination or too much coffee/tea/soda
  • Infrequent breaks = writer is either asleep on laptop or is in such writing nirvana that bodily functions are no longer necessary.
3. Insomnia
  • This is both voluntary (from writing) and involuntary (from thinking about writing)
4. NaNoer makes criteria for ICD-9 code 780.4 : DIZZINESS AND GIDDINESS
  • No kidding, this is a real disease code used in medical billing and disease classification. Generally, people make criteria either at the onset of November, because NaNo is beginning, or at the end of November, because NaNo is almost done and the possibility of normal, human functioning is nearly within their grasp.
So. Do you have any of these symptoms? Doing NaNoWriMo? NaNoRevMo? Or just...being normal?

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
  All I ask is that you become a follower and post a link on your blog when I post your answer. This is for fictional scenarios, only. Please check out the boring but necessary disclaimer on my sidebar --> Also, don't forget to stop by Laura Diamond's Mental Health Mondays and Sarah Fine's The Strangest Situation for great psychiatric and psychological viewpoints on all things literary. :)

32 comments:

Old Kitty said...

I say roll on Christmas! LOL! Take care
x

Shelly said...

Anyone in any type of Nano has my utmost respect. I can barely choke out a few blog posts a month!

Stacey said...

I'm currently in NaNo denial as I'm so far behind. I guess this will shortly be followed by panic and then several days of crazy typing... Good luck with your revisions :-)

Mark K said...

There is a phrase that springs to mind: 'physician, heal thy self' ;)

Now come on, what is all this NaNo stuff to begin with? I see it on many blogs but have never really looked into it. I did wonder, when I very first saw this 'NaNo', if it was a new product by Apple, but quickly realised it was some form of self-torture blog writers seem to volunteer for? Crazy people.

But, needless to say, you have my admiration and best wishes on moving you forward in your endeavour. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The year I participated in NaNo, I managed to avoid most of those symptoms.

Bethany Myers said...

Lydia, this is spot on. Espcially the procrastination part.

Awesome post!

Natalie Aguirre said...

You're making me glad I'm not doing NaNo. Not that I could with my daughter's swim schedule in November.

Sarah said...

Hilarious as usual, Lydia :) I'm astounded that "dizziness and giddiness" is an actual ICD-9 code. Just ... wow. Have you ever diagnosed it for real?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is hilarious, Lydia. I`m not doing NaNo and I`m not revising right now. I`m planning my next project. There`s a whole bunch of symptoms associated with that, too. Like head banging, in hopes of a plot twist revealing itself. :D

Meredith said...

Ha, very interesting! I'm not doing NaNo this year, but I've got my fingers crossed for all those who are!

Taylor Lynn said...

Haha, this is fabulous! I did NaNo for the first (and so far, only) time last November, and...just...wow. Honestly, it was insane! I spent most of my month on the computer - like, hours and hours a day. It was stressful. ;) I don't drink coffee and I wasn't having trouble sleeping (thank God!) but other than that, I lived and breathed NaNo for thirty days. It was a lot of craziness.

But this year, I'm like you - I'm in the middle of revising/rewriting my WIP, and I'm quite happy with that, so yay! Here's to all the Revmos out there!

SA Larsenッ said...

I love that image!! Not doing NaNo this year, so what's it say if I normally feel like that?

Karen Lange said...

Not doing NaNo, but I do have a smattering of these symptoms, on a smaller scale of course, when up to my ears in a project. Another reason I'm exceedingly thankful for frozen pizza.

mooderino said...

Spazzy Heart would be a good name for an Indie rock group.

mood
Moody Writing

LTM said...

LOL! Hilariousness... :D First, I would be in the Nano place this year if I wasn't in ReleaseMo, which is causing my heart rate to skippity skip and I might actually have that disease code... LOL! <3

Barbara Watson said...

Ohhhhh...I'm jealous of those that Nano. Seriously, because I can't write that way. So yay for you Nano-ers! Even if you have the symptoms of it. :-)

Southpaw said...

I love this post!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

LOL!
NaNo doesn't fit my writing style, so I have never tried it.

prerna pickett said...

yup, pretty much!

bethchristopher.com said...

Ha ha! Yup, pretty much fits. Except the stick figure bit from not eating. I'm getting dangerously close to Jaba the Hutt territory from total lack of exercise.

lbdiamond said...

An ICD code for Nano--HA!!!

Deb Salisbury said...

LOL! Those symptoms sound familiar!

Christina Farley said...

Love these! A nice NaNo break.

Leslie S. Rose said...

I think NaNo also kicks in some serious compulsive word counting behaviors.

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! You always have a dose of the truth for us. ;)

I'm being an unofficial NaNoWriMo/NaNoReviMo hybrid!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Like you, I'm in the midst of major revisions for an agent and just don't have the time! But even so, I tried Nano last year and failed miserably. Loved your breakdown of the usual symptoms!:)

Angela V. Cook said...

Haha! This is great! I've never done NaNoWriMo, either. I hate drafting, plus I'm slow at it. I can only imagine what kind of hot mess would result if I forced myself to complete a novel in 30 days ;) BUT, I give all kinds of credit to those who do it; they're rockstars in my eyes ;)

Bathwater said...

I swear this has got to be the worst month for this! I seem to write the least in November!

Crystal Collier said...

LOL. I never do NaNo for some of these reasons. The rush is so not healthy for the writing process. But hey, if it works for some people, it works.

Linda Gray said...

None of your commenters (or maybe one?) are doing NaNo . . . no surprise there! Who would have time for anything like blog reading? I tried last year, and symptom three--skippity skip heart rate--got me confused even before 'sluggish' set in! Have to find a way someday . . .

Trisha said...

Possibly my first year I had the insomnia, but the only time I've had writing insomnia since wasn't during NaNo. ;)

P.S. I AM DOING NANO! ;) already reached 50k but still have to finish the story by year's end.

Eva Inka Nurmaisya said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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