1. Showering. You’re a writer. People expect you to smell like a combination of gin, despair, and the bottom of a rabbit hutch. Besides, if they stay away, it’ll mean less of a pesky social life to interfere with your creative vision.
2. TV. Just cut one episode of Orphan Throne of the Dead or whatever the hell you can’t turn off until you’ve binge-watched every fucking second of it and are left in a huddled pile on the living room floor as you wait for the next episode. One episode. You can do that much.
3. Talking/Thinking/Daydreaming about writing. You know what you could be doing instead? Yeah, you know.
4. “Research” on Wikipedia**. Whatever answer you’re looking for, it’s not there, hoss.
5. Obsessively checking Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Whatever. You’ll live the extra half hour without knowing exactly what that dude you knew in junior high, no, not that one, the other one, had for lunch today. Spoiler alert: it was tacos.
6. Reading about writing. Except for this blog, of course, which you should check hourly with the devotion of a convert to a long-forgotten god.
7. Sleeping. Not entirely, of course. But it might be worth getting up early to hack some word-ore out of the brain mines.
Or, hell, quite sleeping entirely. The resulting descent into madness could be fun to watch.
8. Those games where you must either buy extra lives or spam-bomb your friends into giving them to you. It’s one thing to take a break to experience the tremendous story and cinematic wonder that is a full console game. It’s another to smash candy for six hours and then freak the fuck out because why won’t it give you a red one, you just need one red one, goddamnit, is it so fucking hard to do that?
9. Complaining about how you’re not writing. I hate to tell you this, but none of those words count towards your goal. Not even the swear words. Sorry.
10. Comparing your word count with others. You’re not going to chance that number by logging into the NaNoWriMo forums and despairing about how far behind you are. Or, if you’re not behind, about how far ahead other people are. Just worry about your own shit. You do you, and let everyone else do them.
*I am not a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, minister, therapist, or anyone who should have any input on how to live a healthy life at all. But I am a stranger on the Internet, so of course I must know what I’m talking about.
**Legitimate research, where you find the answer and then return to what you were doing, is acceptable. I’m talking about being best by a sudden urge to find out what happened to every single child actor on that show you watched as a kid. I’ll save you the trouble: 23% still in the industry, 31% working behind the scenes, 26% just a normal dude now, 20% drug overdose.