So here's the deal. In effort to accomplish the goals I've set for myself, I've teamed up with a friend for accountability. We're both striving to be better writers, and maybe produce something of value in a reasonable amount of time. I set the broad goal for myself to "work on a novel." I've written lots of poetry and short stories, and now that I have a degree in the stuff, I figured I'm ready to try for something a little more challenging. I signed up for NaNoWriMo (do it), and am going to push myself harder than I ever pushed myself at school.
I found it really hard to force myself to write if I wasn't trying to meet an official deadline, so I called my Elyssa for motivation (she's my beautiful, intelligent, unicorn of a rock). We decided that a couple things would be good for both of us:
- Work on reaching a five page goal (about 3000 words) in our personal projects. Send the work by Sunday, then do a constructive writer's chat on Tuesday.
- As an exercise, we'd try writing something together. She'll write a chapter as whatever character she wants, and then I'll go, and we'll see what kind of story will evolve and what we'll learn from the other person's writing.
Already, in one week, this has had a huge influence over my motivation. The simple need to meet a deadline has me writing like crazy. The desire to impress my friend and have a readable story has me trying hard to edit and write well. The chat about how we can each improve leaves me inspired and ready to keep going.
The only thing I'd say is hard is finding down time and forcing myself to write instead of do anything else. We both have newborns, which means there's a lot of nap time. It also means there's a lot of housekeeping and laundry and meal planning and errands. So I set aside one day to be "Writing Day." I don't plan any errands or get-togethers, I just take care of my baby and write while he sleeps. And I love it. And I'm so excited to accomplish this goal!
On Writing Day we wear cozy sweaters and patterned leggings and jammies all day.
And we work on rounding-out that flat spot.
And we take selfies in which the baby is about to have a meltdown.
And regular selfies.
On a related note:
In a separate writing project, I started compiling stories and words of wisdom from my Dad in a type of biography. This week, my brother who's on a mission told me how he wants to write such a book. Good thing I already started it! Now I've got this brilliant idea blossoming for all us kids to contribute to it.
On a less-related note:
I was driving past the lagoon yesterday, and right there between the busy road and the boggy, swampy lagoon was an art class! If I hadn't had a hungry, crying baby in the back seat, I might have pulled over and asked about it. And now you know. There are art classes on the lagoon.