November 29, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 10:30 pm by Tamara

Why, hello, blog!  Who knew you were still hanging out here?  I thought you were just a little bookmark that made me feel guilty every time I saw it.  Huh!

I’d love to say that I haven’t posted because this month has been so full of exciting things, but…I can’t.  It has, however, been filled with one time-consuming, energy-sapping, stress-inducing, sleep-stealing, insecurity-causing, too-many-sugary-stress-snacks-eaten activity known not-so-fondly as “NaNoWriMo.”  The point of National Novel Writing Month is to somehow bleed out a 50,000 word novel (oh, I use that term so loosely) in thirty (count ‘em: thirty!) days.  The focus is not quality (!) but quantity: to stop making excuses for why you don’t have time to write and force yourself to pound out (or slowly, painfully, agonizingly plink out) a minimum of one thousand, six hundred and sixty seven words every. single. day.  The organizers also pointed out that signing up for it would give a “rock solid reason” to not do dishes for thirty days (or clean the house, cook, bathe the dogs, bathe myself, etc).  Adam was very supportive, in spite of suffering through the above abuses and usually coming home from work at night to hear “Hi, Love!  How was your day?  Now please don’t talk to me, I have to write at least one thousand more words and I can’t think of a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to write!” (right before I banged my head down on the keyboard with a wail and would only be pacified by massive amounts of chocolate).  Poor, poor husband!

While the NaNo “pep talk” writers helpfully encouraged us that “the looming specter of public humiliation is a wonderful motivator” and suggested we tell everyone we know that we were doing it, I was too scared that I wouldn’t finish to announce it to the world.  But—wonder of wonders—I have!!  And not only have I done it, I finished a day early!  I am incredibly proud of myself (hopefully in a good way).  I have spend years praying about writing, asking God if it’s something he would let/help me do, and usually I feel like the answer has been “Yes, but are you willing to put in the work it would take to do it?”  And there’s ALWAYS an excuse not to, or not “now,” anyway.  Maybe next year….  So, when this opportunity came up I finally said “Alright.  This is a chance to make myself work really, really hard.  I had better stop saying no.”  So (gulp) I did.  And I managed to finish!  Now…I’m much more proud of all the work I put in it than of what I actually wrote, but that wasn’t the point.  Now I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, banish the file (heavily encrypted and password protected) to the darkest depths of my hard drive, and see how long it takes me to recover enough to ever want to write again.  Heh.

In addition to the damage the month has wrecked upon my housecleaning routine, it has also been brutal on my reading goal—I only finished one book during the entire month.  Now I have five weeks to read six books if I’m going to meet my goal for the year.  I think, think, think I can do it.  I just need to stop picking 1,000 page Dickens tomes to read.  Too bad I can’t count kids’ picture books.

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1 Comment »

  1. Donna said,

    I am going to get Nate to hack into your computer so I can read it. How dare you tell me about it but not let me read it!!

    Actually, I am immensely proud of you! You go, Girl!!!

    Mom


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