It appears I have neglected this blog for the month of November.
So what could have kept me so preoccupied for a month? Well, I’ll tell you. November is NanoWriMo.
NanoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, and every year 100’s of thousands creative minds attempt to scribble out 50k words towards a new novel. It’s crazy right?
This year I decided to try this for nothing other than the experience. It was an incredible undertaking and gave me new found respect for professional writers. It takes a huge amount of discipline to be able to write the average of 1,667 a day to be able to meet the 50k goal.
I worked hard, and made my goal with about 58k worth of words. There are still large gaps in the story that need to be filled in, but I ran out of time before the end date. I’m in the process of adding in the gaps now.
One of the biggest lessons learned was the building of habits and what you do when you hit your wall.
How does one keep going when you hit your wall? Motivation is a mystery that eludes most of us at one time or another. In the beginning, most of us find ourselves wrapped up in the adventure of tapping into our creative monster. To recite a story, using words that hide in the shadows of our imagination. It’s your story. A story that wants to escape. As your fingers begin clicking away at the keyboard or your pen launches itself into strokes of finely crafted words on a page, the euphoric feeling consumes you. You search for that runners high, as you power through those first few thousand words.
Then you hit the wall. Everyone’s wall is different, varying from life happens, to the disenchantment of what you thought was a tremendous idea that becomes a twisted spiral of procrastination and excuses.
You may wish you possessed the wisdom and strength to fight through the towering rampart that looms in your path. The goal, which once gleamed a bright radiance of your dream, becomes a dim shimmer of light down a never ending tunnel of anguish.
I don’t have any magic tricks tucked away in my top hat that I can offer anyone. I do have a bit of advice that has helped me through times when I felt like my project was eating away at my soul. When the TV remote was staring at me like a lost puppy that needed a friend.
Motivation is not an act of sorcery that you have someone blindly cast on you to keep you moving forward. Motivation begins with building rituals. It’s setting aside that time you will write each and every day. Start with making that pot of tea or coffee and find your space in your head that your story’s essence waits for you. Start making this a daily ritual, even if you don’t find the words flowing into formed paragraphs, you started a sacrament. Continue the rite till it becomes a habit. Before you know it the habit of starting will become the habit of finishing.
It was an incredible adventure to spill words into the bones of a novel. There were days I was excited to pour my story out, and also the days when I didn’t want to look at it. I viewed this venture as more of a writing exercise to begin with. If nothing else, I can now say, “I wrote a novel”.
Now it’s just bones of what turned out to be, what I feel might be a good story. Sitting here shipwrecked on the fence with a few thoughts of what to do with this unedited treasure I had idea. So here is my outlandish thought.
I’m thinking about creating a separate page on this blog and putting up the edited version a bit at a time. This way I could get some feedback from everyone, and you can have a free story.
If anyone would be interested in a dramatic Sci-Fi adventure just let me know. If there is enough interest I’ll begin editing. This way I could get some feedback from everyone and you can have a free story.