Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Anyone?

It's finally here. November 1st. The beginning of a month of frantic writing all over the world, as brave souls attempt to pound out 50,000 words toward a rough draft. Once again, I will join their ranks. Once again, I will possibly fail to finish. But that won't stop me from making the valiant effort to accomplish something dramatic.

If you break it down into daily increments, it really isn't that daunting a task. When the muse is working, it's quite feasible to produce 2,000 words a day. But what does one do when the muse simply isn't there? 

Don't give up. Don't let distractions pull your attention away from that screen. Even if you lose your train of thought, keep going. Keeping your brain in a creative mode is the important idea here. As long as your thoughts are flowing into your fingers, and your fingers are capturing those thoughts through the keys, you can succeed. The danger, at least for me, is to become distracted to the point where your creativity comes to an abrupt halt.

So turn off the television. Lock the door and set the phone on mute. If you get stuck in the middle of your planned project, don't let it bother you. Keep going. Let your fingers type a favorite recipe. Or fill the page with song lyrics. Anything to keep going. Then when the ideas start flowing again, you will be ready for them. The danger lies in walking away from the keyboard and becoming involved in something else.

I have set a goal of 2,000 words per day for myself. I know that's more than the breakdown figures, but this allows me to take one day off each week, if I so choose, to fill with other commitments without feeling guilty or falling behind. It seems that once I start slipping, it's easier to give up completely.

So I wish all of you the best of luck, and will see you back here in one month. I may drop by a time or two just to give an update and see how others are doing. But I have to limit distractions as much as possible, because I know myself. Once I give in to the temptation, I'm sunk. I've returned all my library books, finished up my reading on the Nook Color, and have sworn off all the forums for Nano in an attempt to make this year one I can be proud of.

Actually, I already have accomplished one major goal this year. I signed up for the 2012 Reading Challenge, with a goal of 100 books, and I finally reached that goal last week. I wanted to be sure I had that under control before the beginning of Nanowrimo. 

Happy  Reading (and Writing!)