Monday, November 3, 2008

NaNo and Common Sense (mutually exclusive?)

Its the first week of NaNo, and unlike last year I own a computer. Which means that I am taking this writing experiment very seriously. Perhaps too seriously. This weekend I managed to write an overwhelming 5033 words in two days. This has been my reach goal for a full week period-- so to actually achieve it in two days is incredible. Its taught me that it is possible to actually achieve the word goals that NaNo has set out. Its also taught me why I don't write 2500 a day.

See, I have a full time job, a social life, and a patient husband who are all clamouring for my attention. Over the past few months I've been learning to put my writing first, which has been a very slow and arduous lesson. Firstly, because I had to convince myself that my writing was worth my time (and believe me, many days my writing is rough, raw, and full of craptitidue-- yes, I am now making up my own words). It took a few months, some very determined writing buddies, a supportive husband, but finally I started to put my writing in perspective. Now, I have a modest weekly writing goal, 192 pages of a novel, and a good healthy attitude towards my writing (even if I do still believe almost all of it is rubbish!). Which has made all the difference between an almost finished novel and another year of useless procrastination.

NaNo, offers you the prize of a nearly complete novel in a month. What's that catch? Forsaking all your friends, family, and spending all your spare time writing. I'm not saying that for everyone NaNo offers this sort of trade off, I'm just saying that for me, in order to get my word counts in I have to make severe cutbacks in my life. While I am still in the thrall of NaNo this sacrifice seems logical, sensible, even something necessary for my 'art'. However, as the month of November stretches before me I am thinking of my social plans, which will eat into my writing time and wondering how I will keep up the pace I've set for myself. I know that today I am a little bleary eyed and worse for the wear, but I'm also happy. Will I be able to trade off time with loved ones, out with friends, and sleep in order to produce a crappy first draft of a novel? Right now, I'm just not sure. I'm going to take things step by step-- and that includes getting back to my 'novel'. So, for a change I'm posing a question to you, do you have any advice for a sensible NaNo/Life Balance?

WritingMinion (5533 and counting!)

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