Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Working Through NaNoWriMo

Most of the writers I know are hip-deep in NaNoWriMo this month. The question arises with each writer, “How can I complete NaNo and do everything else in my normal schedule?”
Whether you’re single or married with a family, as a writer trying to find time to write can be a bummer. For all that, we still manage. I’m luckier than many because I’ve retired from the active work force and can commit whatever time I choose to NaNo’s pursuit.
Take today, for instance. It’s now a quarter past 2pm. Have I started on NaNo yet today? Why yes, I did. I spent a most productive hour on that little beastie before noon. Also before noon I slept until 9:30 (not recommended) because I didn’t get to bed until after 2am. Bathroom duties followed by large coffee, and I was ready to tackle the work.
I checked e-mail—both accounts. Dealt with all that. Checked my favorite forum. We have our own monthly writing challenge over there, so checking on that is habit as much as anything else. Then I did monthly bills. That took time away from writing, but without that time spent, I wouldn’t have a place to write, so it balances out.
Maintenance man came to fix my closet door and replace one of the light fixtures in the kitchen. By the time he left, it was time to decide on a PB idea for PiBoIdMo. I’ve got some doozies going right now. Somewhere in there, I managed to make myself something to eat. I was getting a bit light-headed.
Next, I wrote the Claudsy’s blog post and got it up and running. Now, I’m on this one. When I finish this and get it up, then I can go on to my daily work on the PAD Poetry Chapbook Challenge. It’s only for one poem in rough draft, so that won’t take too long. Then, I’ve got to go to the bank.
From that point on, I can go back to writing on my NaNo poetry book, “Moon Sees All” and hopefully get at least the next sestina finished for that. By that time, it dinner will have found its way to a taco bowl near me. Yes, that’s right. Taco salad all around for this household tonight. Drool, people, drool.
Gotta run so that I can finish and have something of an evening for some studying on another writing program I’m doing. I’m ready for chapter eight out of 24. A writer’s life is always in flux. That’s what I’ve been taught, and I feel it’s the only accurate description of my life.

And to answer the question about completing NaNo and living a normal life, I ask another question. Whoever said a writer had a normal life in the first place? We think differently than "normal" people. Our minds are constantly cluttered with a variety of characters, facts, figures, plans, schedules, etc. that would drive the average person to drink or go mad. We can't look at anything or anyone without trying to place him/her or it into a current WIP or future project.

What about that is normal? Completing NaNo is a goal. Living has nothing to do with that goal, really. Either you find a path using determination and ingenuity or you don't. The ultimate prize from NaNo, however, is the knowledge of what you can do in a time crunch and how much you learn about yourself and your abilities because of your work there.
Take care, all, and be sure to stop long enough to drop me a comment on your writing experience with NaNo, or barring that, your writing experience in general.
Until then,

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