There comes a point when a writer will go ‘bleh’ and do something other than writing. I have reached that point and wasted time with simulation games, Halloween crafting for my daughter’s upcoming party and shopping. I couldn’t even enjoy any of these things because of the guilt of ignoring my work. I’ve noticed a pattern at least, that I will let a maximum of two weeks pass before I decide to do something about it and make myself sit down and write. Maybe I’m taking a mental holiday, I don’t know. With November and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) looming, I can’t have days and days of doing things other than writing or I will fail in the task.
The point of NaNoWriMo is debatable. My co-writer thinks it’s a pointless exercise. I don’t understand that opinion at all, it makes no sense. Too many benefits are realised by NaNoWriMo. I see it more as a work-ethic exercise than anything else. It’s a way to teach myself to sit down every day and write something. Fifty thousand words is a big goal but not an impossible one, as long as the daily quota is reached. Sitting down every day and hammering output that might or might not make the final edit is exactly how a person writes a book. NaNoWriMo might not give me a full book at the end of the month, but at least it’ll show me it can be done. By the sound of things, a lot of writers abandon this practice until next November; it seems they go back to what they were doing before. That’s a strange thing to do, isn’t it? Especially if you’re a winner and achieve the goal. Surely NaNoWriMo is not just a means to an end? Isn’t the bigger message to get a writer started on the path of ‘this-is-how-you-write-a-book-you-sit-down-and-make-yourself-write’. Every quote from famous authors say this – that you must be writing, even when you don’t feel like it.
NaNoWriMo is not just an exercise to me. It’s a beginning.