Tuesday, November 11, 2008

National Novel Writing Month

Most of the time, I don't need outside motivation to write. I love writing, and I look forward to a day when I have nothing on my agenda, so I can spend the whole day at the computer. That's when I'm working on a story I love and it's going well and I'm not on a tight deadline.

But those other times ... yeah, okay, sometimes it's just work. And I would much rather watch mindless TV, clean the oven or get a root canal. Yet writing is my job and I have to do it whether my muse is cooperating or not.

November is National Novel Writing Month, when writers all over the world are challenged to complete a novel (or 50,000 words, whichever comes first) between Nov. 1-30. There's a website, and you check in every day with your word count and they give you a nifty graph to mark your progress. And if you succeed, they send you a certificate.

This sounds like fun to me, and since I've had a little bit of trouble slogging through my current project, I thought signing up for NaNoWriMo would motivate me.

Boy, was I wrong. I don't know whether it's performance anxiety or what, but my page output is actually less than normal! With the month one-third over, I've produced exactly 7822 words. At this rate I won't even get halfway done.

Then again, I am making forward progress, whereas before, I was completely stuck. The point of this exercise is that you write without editing yourself, just write write write and worry about the quality of your prose later. Just get to the end! Remembering that has actually helped me get going in the right direction again.

My next blog day is on the 29th. I'll let you know how I'm progressing and if I have to pull an all-nighter!


Trish Milburn said...

Good luck, Kara! Try to focus on the fact you're making progress and maybe the anxiety of trying to finish an entire book will go away.

Dorana said...

youre doing a really great job! not to mention all the work you're doing on your house at the same time! count every paint brush stroke as a word! the first words of your new chapter in california!

siempre - dorana

Estella said...

Good luck, Kara!

Stephanie said...

I'm doing the Nano, too! Stay motivated! Progress is progress!

Kara Lennox said...

Thanks for the encouragement, friends!