Week 1: Starting that writing project with NaNoWriMo

betty ming liu Inspiration 6 Comments

wow wow wowIt’s 7 a.m. on Nov. 1 and I’m at my desk. The challenge has begun. For the rest of the month, I am committed to writing at least 1,500 words every day. The goal is to have 50,000 words by the end of November.

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month! I just registered on NaNoWriMo’s website to make sure I’m counted. There’s gonna be hundreds of thousands of writers participating from around the world.

Imagine, all of us working on writing projects. That’s a lot of clacking on computer keyboards.

Most Nano folks are chasing dreams of producing the first draft for a novel. Others, like me, fall into the “other” category that includes nonfiction books, memoirs, screenplays, short stories, etc.

The organization’s website has all sorts of “post your novel here!” interaction opportunities. But I’m staying low profile. As you know from  I’m taking the pressure off by not talking about the actual contents of my nonfiction book. Enough talk, already!

Instead, I will be here every Saturday with a blog post dedicated to process. This is a chance to practice the art of nurturing ourselves. How are we doing? What’s it feel like to make writing a priority?

Okay, I’ll go first…

I once had a writing instructor who said that whenever she sets aside specific time for writing, she gets her laundry done. Man, I totally relate. Instead of surrendering to scary unknown possibilities, it’s easier to hide behind the familiar routine of washing clothes. Or, running to the post office. Or…well, you get the idea.

Knowing my tendency to procrastinate, I’ve cleared my calendar for November. I also spent the past week dealing with errands. What a liberating process:

  • Recycled old copies of The New Yorker. I love subscribing to this magazine. But getting through each weekly issue has been impossible. So I save them under my desk. Three years’ worth, really?
  • Reorganized my closet. Neatly folded the winter sweaters. Summer’s over!
  • Stocked the food pantry. Want a snack? Come to my house.  :)
  • Hung some paintings. Now, they’re sending out colorful, creative vibes.
  • Cleaned my desk. Recycled more paper. The clutter is gone.

Okay. Enough about me…

Even if you’re not working on Nano, feel free to post about what it’s like to make time for a special project. If you subscribe to this thread, we can chat all week. I’ll be here.

How about you? What’s on your plate for the week? Got any special plans?

Comments 6

  1. I have to clean my house today since it hasn’t been cleaned. I have some medical tests coming up but hopefully that shouldn’t keep me from writing. Now that my husband has finished putting in a new shower, I can bathe again instead of a sponge bath in a large plastic locker…I always write with my thoughts while I am cleaning house so for me that will be a beginning of thinking about everything I want to write tonight either close to midnight or after when I do my best writing. Too bad I can’t have a smoke anymore since for me writing and typing and coffee go together for getting my creativity juices flowing. I’ll just get out my old legal size yellow tablet and pen and start before I transfer and save it to the computer. Tally ho, and away we go!

  2. Post

    Go, Sandy! No booze for me this year. No smokes for you. But think of all the things we can say that we HAVE. Things we didn’t have last year. You’ve got the new shower. I’ve got a new outlook. :)

  3. Post

    Well. I must say I am having a slow go of Days 1 and 2. Couldn’t figure out what to write. Felt the pressure, pressure, pressure. I spent most of today, Sunday, at home with my laptop. It felt good.I haven’t done this kind of writing in a very long time. I ended up with a net gain of 200 words. But it’s okay. I calmed down a bit. Maybe I’ve stopped freaking. But can’t tell yet for sure. :)

  4. Post

    Day 3: Finally hit 1,600 words. Took me most of the day, about six hours. And it’s very rough. But the process was interesting. I went from writing too many details to panicking to settling down into some sort of zone. Very satisfying!

  5. Post

    Ugh….after one great day, I’m behind!
    Day 4: Worked all day, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Didn’t write a word.
    Day 5: Graded homework assignments all day long. But at least I got to the gym for half an hour. And I took care of so much of my teaching-related stuff. The deck is fairly clear for tomorrow. Another day. Let’s see how that goes. I’m not ready to freak yet. :)

  6. Pingback: Gotta make time for what you love

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