So! Yesterday, at the stroke of midnight, did you scribble the thoughts ricocheting off your gray matter and rampageously vomit up a few thousand words because the fire to write your story burned feral through your fingertips?? Did you make the first day of NaNoWriMo your bitch??
Of course you did!!!
Woo-hoo!! Yippity-skippity River dancing for you!
And now…. Today, are you simply staring at your buttcrack because all the suck tumbled out of you so fast that you wrote yourself into a black hole of no return and have no inkling where to go next? And you decided to quit because THIS IS HARD, MAN!
Of course you did!!!
Huzzah! Welcome to NaNoWriMo Land Part 2 – The Death of Good Intentions!
Let’s face it, bubbie, this is no easy task you’ve set for yourself. WTF were you thinking?? FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS!! That’s kind of a ginormous scary amount when you eyeball the end game, isn’t it? Comparable to losing ONE HUNDRED POUNDS or running TEN THOUSAND KILOMETERS.
Exceptionally large feat when you step back and look at the whole (and not the hole, i.e. your buttcrack). Something to make your insides squinch up with doubt and insecurity. Can I do this? echoes through your bowels and is answered with a resounding fart of NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
But this is not the time to panic. (It’s the perfect time to panic! Squirrel!)
Remember your Anne Lamont permission mantra of the shitty first draft. It doesn’t matter *what* you write. It only matters *that* you write. Every day. Every Day. EVERY day. EVERY DAY!
So follow her bird by bird approach. One day at time. Chunks of 1,667 words a day equals 70 words an hour, .86 words a minute (Double Squirrel!). ANYTHING is overwhelming when you look at the whole flock of what you’re trying to accomplish, so break it down to the minutiae of little goals.
What are little goals, Betsy? And how do I get one! I see you running and screaming in circles, bald spots forming from your hair-fisting frustration.
Little goal suggestions to combat life’s problems:
Work sucks! Why yes it does, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Secretly open an email addressed to yourself and keep it in the task bar to pop up and flood with that great line/idea you know will elude you after the dragging torment of your day job leaches away all creativity (be sure to hit send before the boss busts you). When you return home, the brilliant gem in your in-box may reignite the writing energy to fulfill your daily word quota.
My spawn won’t leave me alone! Dude, park them in front of the zombie box. What are you even asking me this for? But they need to be fed, diapered, and nurtured with quality time, you heartless wench! Fine. Whatever. Make a game of it. Slap some apples and goldfish crackers in a bowl next to their sippy cup, along with a box of crayons and coloring books to fight over and all of you sit at the table for your “quality time” together. Use the damn crayons to plot out some scenes. Draw them in hieroglyphics – Look! Mommy is coloring, too! Type it all up later when your spawn have finally passed out for the day.
The phones, they won’t stop ringing!! If you’re like me and my fellow Wisconsinites, and live in a swing state, I bet your phone is in a constant state of robo-ring. Mitt calls me every day. Sarah Palin checked in to say hello. And the minions of both parties have chosen my number to harass every five minutes for the past, oh, say, two years. Look, I don’t really give a flip who you vote for, but I do care that you vote. That’s our privilege, and if you don’t exercise it, then shut your raging maw for the next four years. I don’t want to hear it. As for the annoying ring-ring-ring? Put the phone on mute, Einstein. That’s not a legit excuse not to write, and just like you non-voting complainers, I don’t want to hear it.
Okay, by now, you get the idea – concentrate less on the big picture (FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS!!!) and focus on the smaller pixels that it consists of. You know, like those renderings of famous portraits that when you squint at you can see they’re actually made up of puzzle pieces or box tops or some shit?
Do that. And only that. I know you can tough it out past day two, for crying out loud you pansy. Because seriously, if you can’t? Then I’m shoveling your ass in with the non-voters. Go. Be gone. Useless loser.
But if you’re made of sterner stuff, stick around. Remember my promise to be the Pied-Piper of Anti-suck? I keep my promises! We will make it through NaNoWriMo together – and we will succeed! FWIW, yesterday, I only wrote 906 words – far from the daily goal of 1667, right? Did I quit? Naw. I knew I had today off (so I was lazy pants), and I will make up my writing quota accordingly, plus it’s the weekend! My Brainstorming Crew and I have already set Saturday aside for sprint-writing. A whole day to dump gray matter into my hard drive, drink caffeine and eat whoopie pies! What more could I possibly hope for???
What little goals or potential windows in your schedule can you carve out to reach your daily writing quota? Focus *only* on the 1667 words a day, 70 words an hour, .86 words a minute….. bird by bird rhymes with word by word. Coincidence? I think not.