Saturday, January 2, 2010

I have a date

I've been seeing NaNoWriMo around the internet for years. I heard vague references to it on people's blogs, and stumbled across the forums once, but I never really paid much attention to it. I have so many writing projects dying in my brain that I didn't think I could possibly take on one more, and one that requires you to write a whole novel in one month at that.

But then I found out there's a book on how to write a novel in a month, written by the founder, and I was instantly interested. Anytime there's a how-to book on something, I have to have it.

So I took myself off to my favourite local bookstore; in addition to finding the book I was looking for, I also found The Writer's Idea Book. A how-to, of course, with prompts; over four hundred of them, and I'm in love.

One of the prompts is to have a dedicated time to write at the same time every day; I wasn't very good at taking my birth control pill every day at the same time, and I am equally awful at setting aside time to write every day. I tend to write when I am woken up in the middle of the night by crazy, demanding words. It seems simple-but-brilliant to set aside time. How did I not know about this? I spend so much time feeling like I can't write to save my life, and then someone comes along and gives me a gem of an idea that sort of makes me want to bang my head against the wall, it's so bloody simple.

So, the idea is that I'll spend a certain amount of time -every day, at the same time- at the place where I do my writing. I don't have to write, but I can't do anything else. Of course, I do all my writing at my computer, but that is also where I do anything else, so maybe I ought to pick a different spot for my writing-on-a-schedule?

Like so many other things I try for five minutes and then abandon, I suspect that I'll forget this the moment something more mindless comes along (I have four episodes of Vampire Diaries recorded and a hat that needs knitting...) but it fits in nicely with my goals for the year, so I'm going to give it a go.

Oh yeah, by the way... I might even give NaNoWriMo a try this year. Won't that be sexy?


GirlGriot said...

I bought No Plot, No Problem this year, too (oh, that was last year already, wasn't it?). I've done NaNoWriMo for the past 7 years, and it's great fun. I've only "won" three times, but the exercise is a great one no matter how many words I get written in the 30 days. I'd definitely recommend trying it!

Jade said...

It sounds like a lot of fun - the approach is extremely liberating for me, and merely thinking about trying it has opened some creative gate in me that I hadn't realised is closed. It was seeing the badge on your page that finally pushed me into signing up for 2010, so - thanks for that!

mosey along said...

I will definitely check out the books you mention. Two of my favorite books on writing are Stephen King's and Anne Lamott's.

I sometimes get bogged down (and bored) by how-to books, and these two approach it with both common-sense and entertainment value (meaning they're good reads, aside from the subject matter). I don't even like Stephen King much as an author, but I love how he approaches writing.

Good for you for getting started. I will watch (and read) with interest!

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