Hello, HaQ readers – The sun and the calendar have turned another click, it’s November. You might be thinking of frost and falling leaves and baking and the start of holiday shopping. Those of you who know me know what time it really is. It’s National Novel Writing Month. Otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. Oh my. This is my eighth year. (Yes, eighth – I am a writer and I’m stubborn.)
For those who have not encountered this yet. Every November, thousands of aspiring writers from across the globe spend thirty days in the sincere effort to write 50,000 words of a new story. Some of us make it, some of us don’t. We all write. There is more art in the world when we ended than when we started. More funny ideas. More crazy ideas. More beautiful thoughts and phrases. More people putting energy into something that feeds their creativity. And doesn’t it need feeding?
So here’s what I’m doing: I’m committing to write every day this month. To get to 50,000 words, I’ll need to average 1667 words per day. Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard. That doesn’t really matter. What matters is that, since I committed to it, writing gets done. I’ve reached the 50K more than once. I’ve not reached it more than once. But I committed. I wrote. Even though some of it is never seen again, that feels like a gift.
So here’s my challenge to you, dear readers: COMMIT. Do something that engages your creative side. It doesn’t have to be as intense as NaNoWriMo, demanding time every day. It can be once a week, or once a month. Commit to yourself and the world that you’ll cook a meal, or write a poem, or get out your camera, your paints, fabrics, woodworking tools – whatever it is that you create with – and do something. One thing. Even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Find that fifteen minutes and give yourself to it entirely. And when fifteen minutes isn’t enough, don’t be afraid to give more. It gives back.
And one last thing, after you’ve done this creative work, acknowledge it. Say you did it, tell someone you’re going to and tell them when you did. Put it in your calendar and check it off. Be aware that you have created something. You are creative. Isn’t that amazing?
Go ahead, be amazing. I knew that, anyway. If you want to, tell me what you did in the comments. Even if you don’t, I’ll be here cheering all of you on. Between the word sprints. Check back – since I’ve committed, I’ll let you know how it’s going each week in November.
NaNo progress: Day 6, 8654 words so far.
For those of you who are curious, this is where to find information on the wonderful group at NaNoWriMo: http://nanowrimo.org/
And this is a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity. It’s funny and sincere and it always gives me a lift: https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!
2 thoughts on “Committing”
Would you share what this year’s NaNoWriMo is about. And maybe previous years. I’m impressed with your eight years in a row.
I’m supposed to be creatively developing marketing material but have gone on vacation instead. Publishing my book wore me out.
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Congrats on the book! Good for you for taking a vacation and getting the time you need – hope you enjoy it.
As to my November writings – I have an eclectic bunch of bits. I’m what’s known as a “pantser” in NaNoWriMo terms. My novels are very much character-driven, I do not go in with a plot outline, and I’m mostly flying by the seat of my pants. In the past, I’ve written one that was kind of a mystery, one that was about a young couple finding a sense of larger purpose, and a couple of the works are humorous. They each have their own peculiarities.
This year’s novel doesn’t have a real title yet and it’s still telling me where it’s going. In a broad sense, it’s about the intersections of everyday lives and the ways that chance events lead to much bigger things. It’s always an interesting process.
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