If you follow me on Twitter you might have caught the unusual tactic I applied to keep myself focused during the final days of NaNoWriMo: I applied tattoos. I started with the NaNoWriMo shield on my left forearm. This proved to be both fun and effective. I applied the first one on November 23rd. Then on November 28th I applied “1,667” to my right bicep: my incentive to get my daily word count average above 1,667 per day (the minimum needed to reach the 50k word requirement to qualify as a winner). On November 29th I was staring down the final words to reach my goal, so I applied a third tattoo: “My Novel, by Me.”
If you read my post on the subject you know I’m not taking credit for writing this novel (to God goes the glory!) so I hid this tattoo someplace relatively discreet, over my heart. November 29th also marked my return to the office, ending my week-long holiday.
I’ve kept this tattoo around for a couple of reasons: 1) I enjoy telling others (and reminding myself) that I’m a novelist and 2) I don’t want to let myself off the hook. I’m supposed to actually read, edit, re-read, etc. this novel. I have another tattoo left to apply, which is my final reminder to get cracking on the post-writing part of this journey. If I don’t get busy soon I may well apply the last tattoo to the side of my throat.
- There aren’t too many people in my work environment with tattoos, despite the fact that Austin, Tx (in general) is a very liberal, live-music-capital-of-the-world tattooed/pierced kind of place.
- Tattoos are fun and a little distracting.
- I have enjoyed the outward/visible sign that I’m different, but I’m glad it’s not permanent.
- It can be awkward to have people stare at my body art (or even just try to catch a peek).
- I’ve enjoyed telling people about my novel.
- There’s just as much risk that I’ll come under judgment as a Christian fiction author as I will for having tattoos.
- I’ve always said I have no interest in getting a tattoo, but that is no longer a true statement.
- I suspect I’ll miss having tattoos.