Or, What I Hope National Novel Writing Month Will Do for Me
Tomorrow’s the day. T minus 16 hours for those late-night scribblers (in my time zone) who are planning to start at midnight. I am not a late-night scribbler. I am an early morning before work–before my ADD makes a mincemeat of my ability to hold a line of thought for more than 10 seconds–writer, so I will not be starting until 4 or 5 a.m. tomorrow….a good 21 hours for me.
At this point, I have not gotten done everything I would have liked to get done before November. I am also not going to care. I am putting my novel writing first for a month, instead of somewhere in the last quartile of my priorities.
And that is, essentially, what I want NaNoWriMo to do for me: to give me a reason (or an excuse) to take care of my writing goals before any others.
I have found in the past six months that making time to write is harder for me than I expected, and harder than I think it should be. Some of the difficulty has been, perhaps, in spending time on stories about which I wasn’t really enthusiastic enough to get swept away by. Some of it, however, is also just poor time management and prioritization skills on my part. Putting writing goals at the top of a list two pages deep really isn’t the way to get them done, because all the rest of it–the obligations and overextensions on other work and other hobbies, and the simple realities of daily life–are nipping at that writing time’s heels, eating into it in five-minute chunks here and mental energy exhaustions there. This month, I have two things on my to do list:
1. Write daily word goal.
2. Friends and family time.
I am not even keeping a “would like to do” list for the other stuff. If it’s that important, it will hit me in the face, force me to deal with it, and then be done. If it’s not important enough to force me to look at it, then it was never that important.
So for one month, novel writing comes first. I am hoping it works for me to get my production where I want it to be. I hope that I learn a few things about prioritizing, and about what can be done with a spare 20 minutes when that is my first and only priority for the time, so that even when I allow other pulls on my time again I can still keep a better focus on my writing.
What about all y’all out there NNWMing with me–what perennial problem do you hope the month of November will allow you to overcome?