NaNoWriMo Yogi Faces Seated Peril

November is National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. I’m picking up momentum to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For a handful of years, I’ve considered participating in this national contest of wordy first drafts with a mixture of curiosity and fear. And since I can’t think of any vocation less lucrative than “yoga teacher” except perhaps “aspiring novelist,” why not give it a try?!

I’m outlining and writing a premise and drafting a synopsis. There is one dilemma. No, it’s not naming the characters, although that’s tough as well. No, what worries me is the article my sister forwarded me from the October 17 New York Times, citing research published this month about the perils of sitting. Sitting is bad. Specifically, sitting in front of the television in Australia for one hour reduces one’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

I won’t be writing in Australia, and I’ll be rubbing my eyes in front of a computer screen rather than a television screen. Still, in the coming month I expect to be sitting a lot more than usual, since I’ve made it sort of a mission these past couple of years to steadily decrease my screen and keyboard time. Even more troubling, the study findings seem to imply that walking around Bernal Hill, while beneficial, won’t bring those seated minutes back to life.

Yes, I started a few days early because I’m like that. Yesterday it took me about three hours to write 1,551 words for a scene that introduces the relationship between the two main characters.

I have no idea how to calculate this in NaNoWriMo real time, as I hope to pick up speed along the way and also expect to get stalled. Probably a lot. But how about if we say, with great optimism, that I’ll write 500 words per hour on average. That’s 100 hours of writing in November, or 2,180 minutes of my life expectancy gone, which means I’m about to give 36 hours or 3 days of my life span to this project.

You may want to check my math on that, as there’s a reason I’m doing NaNoWriMo and not NaMathProMo. Stay tuned for more updates on the dangers of sitting… and if this blog suddenly goes silent in November you’ll know why.


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