Today’s NaNoWriMo tip: Don’t look. Do. Not. Look.

Only four days into National Novel Writing Month and I’m already addicted to my writing stats on I add in new words with the glee of a junkie. (Do junkies have any glee in their lives? I don’t really know. This might be a terrible metaphor, and a perfect example of why research is a good idea for fiction writers, not just journalists.) As I get off on watching my Total Words Written go up, my Words Remaining go down, it’s tempting to drum my fingers together and let loose some Dr. Evil MWA-HA-HAs. But there’s to time for drumming my fingers together! Must write more!

That’s what I did last night. I didn’t get started on my daily word count until after 9 p.m., so I had to get busy, people. I hammered out the words while food dried to dishes in the kitchen — I never do that — and my husband distracted the cat, who is a wild man at that time of night. I kept hammering as my husband went to bed, and the cat settled into his favorite chair for a nap. I wrapped up, logged my words for the day and watched in satisfaction as it translated my entry into respectable numbers on my novel’s stats page.

Then, this morning, when I went to the site, I saw this:

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 7.14.41 AMGoose egg. Goose egg that’s bringing my Average Per Day (and writing spirit) down, man.

So don’t look in the morning, when it’s a brand new day for WriMos. Just don’t. Don’t even go to the site to look at a frenemy’s failing stats so you can get a little pre-coffee schadenfreude. Write first, log in and look later. Because that goose egg is a rough way to start your day. (And don’t do schadenfreude, either. You have too much writing to do to waste energy on that.)