I have a confession to make. Well, certainly, there is much to confess, but I’ll try to keep this post about one. Okay, two. Tops.
1. I have never, to my own satisfaction, finished writing any of the novels I have started writing. I wrote something that resembled a novel when I was…say…17? It was a mighty mess. I don’t even remember what it was about. I have in my mind a running list of novels that must be written, but I haven’t “really” given any of them my time, effort, or dedication. I mean, it was like pulling hen’s teeth to finish both of my Masters’ theses. I even remember telling a therapist about this problem. In all of her sageness, she said, “You’ll start when you are ready.” And I did (on that particular thesis). So, now it is time to start on those novels.
2. I mentioned NaNoWriMo in my last post, and it is the source of my second confession. I have tried to participate in this writer’s challenge about six of the last eight years. I have dropped out of my daily goals about two weeks into it every time. I have never reached the 50,000 word goal of the challenge, and I have never come close to finishing any of the novels I was going to write when I started the project. Sigh. I’d like to say this year is going to be different. I really, really would. But the honest truth is…it’s hard for me to write every day (dang, I think that is confession #3, if anyone is keeping score).
I have, thus far, in my writing craft, relied on inspiration lining up with available time in order to accomplish “writing.”
Ahem. Seriously. Even I can see that this is no way to go about writing anything within a reasonable amount of time. Or even cohesively. I did, for about a month, get up every morning at 5:45-ish, make a pot of coffee, and write for about an hour. I stopped doing this for a variety of reasons, but the number one reason was…I hate mornings and writing during the morning time created, in my opinion, crappy writing. I am a night owl. I could start writing at 10pm and not stop until 3am. If I had that kind of life, where I didn’t have to be anywhere right around 8am, I would probably do this everyday. But I do have to be somewhere M-F by no later than 9. And it’s just life, you know, but it cramps my style.
So, how to manage it? That is the question. Let’s look at the math. 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s just 1,666.7 words per day. That’s not so bad. Not when you have a good focused hour of time. And you know what you want to write about. And you have your favorite music already cued up on your playlist. And you have your cell phone turned off. And no soccer practice after work. And no dirty dishes calling your name…See? See how easy it is to complicate the whole process? But that’s part of the problem. Instead of making it hard, I need to think about making it easy.
Surely I spend at least an hour a day looking at Facebook, and playing silly games like Sudoku on my phone. Would a simple resolution to spend that time writing instead actually accomplish 1666.7 words a day? Maybe…maybe not. Maybe I should just make an announcement in my house: “I am writing from 9-10 pm. Do not bother me.” Maybe I should do both. Maybe I should give it a shot and see before I already count myself out of this year’s NaNoWriMo yet again.
Maybe there should be a lot fewer maybes and lot more I ams.