Saturday, October 31, 2009

on the eve of a massive project

So either I'm crazy, self medicated, or extremely motivated... because I just signed up to be a participant of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for November. Every November for several years now, a non profit has been organizing the masses of writers who always talked about writing a book and never found the time to actually do it.

AKA from Nov 1 to Nov 30 it is my responsibility to grab my dream by the balls and write 50,000 words. That comes out to about a 175-page book. It sounds like a lot, and in reality it is, but it's doable. About 1,667 pages per day. In fact, I calculated that at my current job for the newspapers I write about 25,000 words each week... so twice that in four weeks is a piece of cake IN THEORY.

I sort of have never been much of a planner. I don't really outline or do character sketches before I start writing. So what will probably end up happening is I'll brainstorm and widdle down the few story ideas I have that are new (this is a rule of joining) and select the one I like most. I'll spend a large portion of Sunday writing some pages for that piece and then I'll get into the details and planning. It's just my process. I can't plan unless I know a certain idea translates.

So tonight I'll be freaking out and spending a lot of time taking notes and sorting through my psyche in my journal. Could be fun... could be a nightmare. We'll see.

I also joined the Ann Arbor region group. You're supposed to join regions near you so that when you feel like quitting you have a support group. Sort of like Alcoholics Anonymous. We have group therapy sessions renamed "write-ins" where we meet and hopefully do some writing but most likely procrastinate. In total there are about 750 people in Ann Arbor that are doing it. Surprised me how many of those are young people... as in younger than me, the 23-year-old journalist. There are totally kids in high school and college doing this. The college kids don't surprise me as much because I was writing screenplays and short stories at that age, but the closest I came to writing anything in high school were my mini assignments in my creative writing class. But a 175-page novel? Nope. I was too athletic and stuff. These kids have plans.

I will try to update the blog with some excerpts from time to time. It will be my method for maintaining some accountability. Plus I told a lot of people so they can pressure me into not being a loser and quitting too soon. OR SO THE PLAN GOES...

Also some things developing with work that I can't discuss yet. But things might be changing for me in the coming weeks... we'll see what happens.