Wednesday, 31 October 2012
NaNoWriMo: the writing dilemma
I haven't done Writing Wednesday for a long time for a simple reason: I haven't been doing much writing. It turns out that our summer (if I can be so bold as to call it that) sapped my mojo and it has been a struggle to kick it back into action. I can tell how drained I became as I was barely reading and that, I have to tell you, is practically a life crisis! I can't remember a time when I didn't love to lose myself in a book.
Yet I long to write. When we were canal boating back in May I spent hours at the tiller, chugging along the beautiful waterways, planning stories and phrases, plotting the outline to a chapter or coming up with the perfect description of the scenery I passed. As soon as I stopped: bam! It is gone! There may be some lessons to learn from this.
1 Always make notes as you think of ideas.
2 The pace of canal life is great for writing motivation.
3 Dry land is not so good.
Of course, the main factor is time. Work went a little crazy for a couple of months and my children are always a drain on resources. That is nothing compared to many writers, who scribble away at their masterpieces from the most time-pressured, child-infested lives possible. Perhaps I needed even more pressure in order to get going.
And so, I note that NaNoWriMo approaches. For those of you who are unaware of this phenomenon it is short for National Novel Writing Month - the month being November. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Now, I'll not go into the argument that 50,000 words does not constitute a novel, nor into the pros and cons of writing so intensively expecting publication by the end of December. No - instead I'll focus on the merits of getting into a writing habit. Or, in my case, back into it.
The challenge equates to 1,667 words per day (that allows me to stop at 1,657 on the last day - the mathematician within me insists on calculating, and saving, those extra 10 words). If I aimed for 2,000 every day that I could allow me 5 days off. Even if I achieved 1,000 per day I could be writing enough words to top up one of my partly written memoirs practically to book length. Then I could spend a happy Christmas editing (ahem!)
Can I do this to myself? More importantly, can I afford not to do this to myself? The challenge is out there. Perhaps I should just give it a whirl and see where I get.
Or else I should buy a narrowboat and become a hermit.
What do you think?