(Reed’s Playlist for the occasion: Operation Iraqi Liberation, by Anti-Flag)
It’s been a much better week than last week. I’m healthy again, I’m actually enjoying the exercise I’m doing with my girlfriend for once (WHAT), and work has been a little less hectic, although still just as busy. I feel like I’m just about getting into a rhythm for the quarter.
So this seems about the right time to turn it on its head.
I’ve not previously done NaNoWriMo for the same two reasons I don’t do a lot of things that would be good for me as a writer – convenience, and anti-conformist bullshit. With convenience, I don’t want to be forced to write on a certain scale (i.e. 1500 words a day, or 50,000 words a month, or whatever) because I don’t want to get discouraged if I can’t make that goal.
The anti-conformist thing is a little stupider. I tend to think, especially where it relates to writing, that my writing has developed mainly because I’ve pursued it in a way that works for me. If it becomes too academic, where I’m constantly reading books on how to be a better writer, or I’m adhering strictly to a process someone else has set out for me, I’m not really writing the way I want to write. And if that happens, I’m afraid I’ll lose the tenuous grip on writing that I currently have and I’ll fall back into a pattern where I don’t write every day.
That’s the worst thing I could imagine right now – to lose the schedule I’ve set out for myself and be back in a place where I’m not writing regularly. It’s already happened to these posts – I went from writing every day to just twice a week, although I like to believe that’s also because I can’t think of something new to post every day – and I’ll be damned if I let it happen to my creative writing.
But really, these are just excuses. Many times when I’ve finally accepted advice of family or friends in regards to writing, it’s been not only not disruptive to my writing schedule, but also beneficial to the quality of my writing. Books I originally shunned became core resources for me in terms of the way I think about writing. And there’s also the not-so-small matter of this blog, which originally was a pain for me to keep up on, and now I’m so glad I did.
The point is, I need to push myself more – not just to write every day, but to try different things with my writing. But I’m not quite ready yet to make a full commitment to something as daunting as NaNoWriMo, of which I have done relatively little research.
So here’s my solution:
You and I (yes, YOU, fellow writer reading this blog) are going to do a pseudo NaNoWriMo. We won’t affiliate ourselves with the group, we won’t have daily reminders breathing down out backs, but we will get something accomplished this month.
That’s right, bitches. I’m challenging each and every one of you (well, those who aren’t already doing NaNoWriMo) to get some writing done in November. And if you don’t take me up on the challenge, you’re a square featherless turkey with an undersized wattle and an addiction to Mentos.
Here’s how my not-so-NaNoWriMo goes:
- You look at how much you wrote the last time you wrote a significant amount (whether it was 200 words or 2,000).
- You multiply that amount by 20.
- You write that much this month.
To compare, NaNoWriMo suggests 50,000 words in one month, which comes out to 1,667 words a day. That’s assuming you’re writing every single day of the month.
Conversely, I wrote 2,000 words today, so I’m going to try to do that 20 days out of the month (or more likely, a little less than that every day of the month). That gives me 40,000 words as a goal for this month. If you wrote 500 words the last time you were productive at writing, you would have to do only 10,000 words this month. That means you could get away with 333 words every single day.
Seriously, let’s give it a shot. You and me. We can do this. To remind everyone, each day of November, I’m going to put up my current Not So NaNoWriMo word count.
You owe it to yourself to give this a shot. So let’s get it on.
Yours, aspiring and perspiring,