Thursday, November 7, 2013

Confession Time: Why I'm Not Doing NaNoWriMo

   I am the opposite of consistent. Always have been. Won't always be, but unfortunately, currently I still am. This is why I am not participating in NaNoWriMo. Because a life time of bad habits and inconsistency has made it far more difficult that it should be to create positive new habits. And I am not saying that to take away from anyone else's struggle in creating good habits because I am fully aware it is difficult for all of us. It goes against the natural flow of things. The old adage being true that when we are not pushing forward we are inevitably falling backwards, there is no such thing as true stagnation when it comes to the human state of being. So all that to say, I'm not there yet. I have barely solidified my basic writing habit, and knowing myself I am acutely aware that I am very easily demotivated by increasing my self expectations to steeply and suddenly.

   So no to NaNoWriMo (which for my non-writer readers stands for National Novel Writing Month) for me this time around, BUT! I am using the inspiration provided by the gallant strivings of my fellow writers to increase my daily word count requirements. Why am I telling you this? I mean other than that this mostly vacant blog you happen to be reading is vaguely constructed to be about me and my life... which, thank you by the way to anyone who keeps checking back through this dry period, you rock! ...well I'm telling you in order to gain some leverage on myself. A bit of external accountability.

   The goal? 1,000 words per day 5 days a week. Or 20,000 new words, added to my novel in progress between November 1st and 11:59pm on November 30th. For a little bit of perspective and brutal honesty about my progress so far, I started my novel in late June on the beginners, snails pace, first draft in a year plan of 350 words a day 5 days a week and I started November with 45,000 words. The goal is to have 65,000 by month end. That's big. Not NaNoWriMo 50,000 words in a month big, but it's huge for me. So I am crowd sourcing support. And also offering up some of my own. 

   If you're like me and can only focus on one endeavor at a time and constantly find everything else in your life falling apart when you consciously decide to put in the effort to improve one specific area, then lets band together. Tell me in the comments what area of your life you're trying to accomplish something in this month. Where you want to be by November 30th at 11:59pm and also what other areas of your life you are unwilling to drop in the name of this goal. Do you want to get on track with a family meal plan but don't want to get so caught up in it that dinner is perfect but you're so tired at the end of the meal that bedtime routines with the kids get pushed aside and everyone falls asleep in the living room watching TV afterwords? Do you want to get consistent with fitness and not derail your important personal relationships during holiday eating season? Lets cheer each other on.

   Where do we start? Here's something invaluable that was recommended to me that I'd like to pass along. Get fanatical if you have to, but schedule it. Schedule your priorities in 30 min increments. It sounds rigid but it's actually really freeing, even for, if not especially for, us creative types.

   Here's a free handout geared towards students that is actually good for any and all of us.

    I'm starting mine this week and would love to have some other people along for the ride to troubleshoot with. Let's see where we can get together by month end?

You in? Thought so.

Ready, Set.... GO!

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