For the past four years, the Geek and I have participated in NaNoWriMo
each November. (Just 2 1/2 months until the next one!!) We both love the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month, even though we are fully aware that anything we manage to pry out of our minds in that short of a time period will be total crap (thus our pet name of Cra
NoWriMo). On the other hand, whatever we write is bound to be editable, and with a little (or a lot of) work, we have the potential of ending up with a palatable, and maybe even good, novel.
So here lies the problem. What happens after NaNoWriMo? They set the stage for you in as perfect a way as is possible for something so random as writing a novel. If you choose to take their challenge, they tell you the day you will start and the day you will stop. They tell you your goal – 50,000 original words. They give helpful advice
for keeping on task and forums for sharing the experience with others who have also taken the challenge. And, perhaps best of all, they give you an excuse to tell your friends and family that as much as you adore them, you really need to stay home and catch up on your word count.
The nice people at NaNoWriMo even try to give you some help after the fact
in case you choose to continue the process by editing your novel. The problem is this: if most people are anything like me (and as unique as I like to think I am, I have no doubt there are a lot of people just like me in this regard) their novel goes into hibernation the minute the clock strikes midnight on November 30th or they type the 50,000th word – which ever comes first.
Of course we all have good intentions. We all want to take the pile of words we just spent a month tossing onto a page and form them into something wonderful. But it's hard to find the time to do so, especially when there are so many other ways to squander your time, like reading blogs, or playing computer games, or shopping.
Well, I can't say I've resolved this issue entirely, but the Geek and I both want to find a way to break out of this this cycle of perpetual procrastination. So, we've instituted a new weekly event in our lives. We will be going out to a coffee shop after dinner each Wednesday night to work on our novels. By setting aside this time and taking us away from the distractions at home, we are much more likely to concentrate on our writing. Plus, by doing this together, we add accountability to each other.
We just started last week, but I'm excited about this. I know that if we really want to go anywhere with our writing, we will need to dedicate more than a couple hours one night a week to it, but I think this is a good start. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes us.
Labels: NaNoWriMo, writing