The NaNoWriMo Diet
It's tempting to let this devolve into a humor piece and talk about my love affair with whiskey and how sometimes, when my brain won't shut-up and let me sleep, I bludgeon it into submission with liberal doses of Jameson. But no. I'm gonna keep this serious. Well, mostly serious.
My suspicion is that successful writers all have at least a little OCD. Who else would sit for hours on end mashing away at the keyboard with their face? What, you don't type like that? Weird.
Smarter writers (or at least those capable of obsessing over more than one thing at a time) will pay attention to their physical and health-related needs as well as their daily word count. Unfortunately I'm not one of those. I can either obsess about my health or work on a book. In the past I would write a book and then, in the time between writing and editing, exercise like mad in an attempt to shed some of the gained pudge. I used to joke that I gained ten pounds with every novel written Except it wasn't really a joke. The thing is, if you want to do this writing thing for realsies, there isn't much down time. When I finish writing a book I jump straight into either editing or planning another. The rest of the time my two functioning brain cells are focused on trying to figure out how to promote myself and my writing.
And then one day I truly began obsessing about diet. I spent months at it, trying different diets and generally experimenting willy nilly with my own health. At one point I even went strictly carnivorous for an entire month. That was my favorite experiment, though you have to eat lots of offal to stay healthy.
I'm going to share my findings here. Not because they're remarkable, but because so few people seem to be aware how ridiculously easy it is to lose weight. Don't get me wrong, this isn't going to give you washboard abs. It will however help you maintain a healthy weight through prolonged periods of minimal exercise. That said, you will be happier and healthier if you combine a good diet with some exercise. Even walking will do wonders for brain and body.
Here it is, the secret NaNoWriMo Diet! Take the money you save from not having to buy diet books or special pre-packaged Weight-Watchers meals and buy BEYOND REDEMPTION.
Eat no processed food. Drink only water.
If you pay attention to the diet world at all, you'll recognize this as Paleo.
Here it is with a little more detail:
Eat nothing that has more than a single ingredient.
Eat only unprocessed meat, unprocessed fruit, and unprocessed vegetables. The actual proportions of each don't much matter.
DRINK ONLY WATER.
It's sad how long it took me to figure that out. Imagine, the trick to maintaining a healthy body weight is eating real food. Whoda thunk it!
Am I perfect, do I follow this diet with psychotic diligence? Nope. I love my beer and whiskey. Sometimes I have a grilled cheese sandwich. Cheeeeeeeeese...don't even get me started on cheese. Even so I managed to drop fifteen pounds in a single month when taking the diet seriously.
So, next time you're planning on sitting on your ass for an entire month (NaNoWriMo anyone?) think about eating real food. Or, if you're really crazy, do it all the time.
What, still here?
What's the real NaNoWriMo Diet?
It's coffee and whiskey and whatever you can eat with one hand so as to leave the other free to type.
About Michael R. Fletcher
Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author. His novel, Beyond Redemption, a work of dark fantasy and rampant delusion, was published by HARPER Voyager. His début novel, 88, a cyberpunk tale about harvesting children for their brains, was released by Five Rivers Publishing in 2013. 88 is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and elsewhere. The next two Manifest Delusions novels, THE ALL CONSUMING, and WHEN FAR-GONE DEAD RETURN are currently in various stages of editing while Michael tries to be the best husband and dad he can be. Michael is represented by Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.
About Beyond Redemption:
A darkly imaginative writer in the tradition of Joe Abercrombie, Peter V. Brett, and Neil Gaiman conjures a gritty mind-bending fantasy, set in a world where delusion becomes reality . . . and the fulfillment of humanity's desires may well prove to be its undoing. Faith shapes the landscape, defines the laws of physics, and makes a mockery of truth. Common knowledge isn't an axiom, it's a force of nature. What the masses believe is. But insanity is a weapon, conviction a shield. Delusions give birth to foul new gods. Violent and dark, the world is filled with the Geisteskranken—men and women whose delusions manifest, twisting reality. High Priest Konig seeks to create order from chaos. He defines the beliefs of his followers, leading their faith to one end: a young boy, Morgen, must Ascend to become a god. A god they can control. But there are many who would see this would-be-god in their thrall, including the High Priest’s own Doppels, and a Slaver no one can resist. Three reprobates—The Greatest Swordsman in the World, a murderous Kleptic, and possibly the only sane man left—have their own nefarious plans for the young god. As these forces converge on the boy, there’s one more obstacle: time is running out. When one's delusions become more powerful, they become harder to control. The fate of the Geisteskranken is to inevitably find oneself in the Afterdeath. The question, then, is: Who will rule there?