Deadlines

National Novel Writing Month

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Getting things done on a deadline is much easier than just generally deciding to ‘do’ something.

Something always comes with the time frame Sometime. Sometime usually comes right around never. Mostly because sometime, when you’re trying to plan for it, falls right around tomorrow. And as Hannibal says in The Curious Savage, “Today is safe, tomorrow may be filled with disaster.” Therefore, if you don’t sleep, tomorrow never comes. Anyway, only live todays and never tomorrows. Which makes Sometime awfully hard to plan for.

I’m trying NaNo again this year. National Novel Writing Month=NaNoWriMo=NaNo if you’ve spent time around certain websites lately and have maybe seen many of these permeations. Or possibly in earlier articles—it’s getting to the point that I can’t remember what I’ve written about.

For the past three years or so, I’ve intended to try NaNo. The first year I got all of three thousand words, or maybe a page and a half, and then I got busy. Then I scribbled in a notebook while hanging out in the laundry room—earning me several sideways looks from all the cool people who just abandoned their clothes. However, because of the notebook, it never got typed up and I didn’t get my participation badge on the official page. And last year was my last year of college and I missed November 1st entirely, so I just didn’t bother.

240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins

Image by owlbookdreams via Flickr

This year, I only (currently) have a part-time job, a play, several volunteer positions, and a few editing commitments, but still have lots of unstructured free time. As I think I might have said a few days and/or weeks ago in the post “Calendar Days” I need to have plans for my unstructured days or I don’t get anything done. Perhaps that is why I can’t even remember exactly what I wrote about.

I just had to stop writing to post some of the ‘recommended’ pictures, as they are very nice ones and already about NaNo! I very much like that leaf.

This year, I have an idea for a novel. Is it a good idea? That’s hard to say, especially since I can’t actually start writing about it yet. But it’s an idea. I have a little notebook called “cliffhangers” with a picture of a monkey on the cover. Inspiring, right?

My little notebook only has a few character sketches and the germ of an outline, but that’s already more than I’ve had any other year. Before, I just tried sitting at my computer (or notebook) and start writing. Maybe if I’d tried writing for more than a few pages, I might have gotten further —but without pushing past that first scene, nothing happened. And also, 2008’s “notebook” wasn’t a single book, but borrowed pages from class notes and from a sketchbook. In fact, rather than ‘noveling’ I ended up doing a nice little sketch of the folds in the black plastic trash bag.

This year, I’ll try again. And get somewhere, this time.

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2 thoughts on “Deadlines

  1. I say go for it. No time like the present. I have been “thinking” about writing a book for more than 30 years now. Then again, there are lots of forms that writing can take, and I continue to practice those and they are rewarding as well. Good luck.

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