So, I recently discovered a writing challenge somewhat similar to NaNoWriMo called A Round of Words in 80 Days.
The challenge is a year round affair that allows participants to set their own goals. The current round just started, so I think I'll jump in and see how I do. It overlaps with NaNo, so it'll be something of a twofer.
My goal? 75,000 words.
Not much higher than the total for NaNo, but October is going to be a busy month for me, and I don't want to set a goal too high to feasibly reach.
A lot of the goals suggested for ROW80 are daily. X words written per day, X pages edited per day. I considered this, but decided on an overall goal for one reason: When I write, it happens in bursts.
This is something I've struggled with for years. The adage that "Real writers write" is very, very true. But following closely is often something to the tune of "Real writers write every day
I write, but I definitely don't do it daily. I might do the daily thing for a week here or there, but never longer than that. I've never even managed to do the daily thing for NaNo, not even the year I won. I'll sit down and churn out maybe 20k in a week, and then I won't work for anything from a few days to a month, and then I'll be back again with a burst of productivity. I've always been like this, and I've always considered it a fault. Felt like I could never be a real
writer until I had the discipline to write every day.
I finally realized that it's time to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Writing daily isn't my thing. It just isn't how I work, and I'll happier if I stop trying to force myself to. Trying to write every day is actually hindering my progress, because I get discouraged when I fail. Real writers write. Real writers finish things. Real writers edit and polish. Real writers (provided they have an eye towards publication) query agents. Published authors meet deadlines. How they achieve these things is up to the individual, be it in measured, daily doses or wild, manic bursts.
The journey is just as important as the destination, but I've come to realize that spending too much time agonizing over how
you get there does more harm than good. You can walk, you can run, you can fly, you can ride a tubby triceratops with a bad attitude (should you be so inclined). The important thing is that you go
I'm prone to a great deal of hand-wringing and dramatics and "WOE IS ME, FOR I AM DOOMED TO FAILURE!" nonsense. I have been tempted more than once to purchase a lovely fainting couch for the sole purpose of lounging upon it and having the vapors.
This is, as you may have noticed, very silly of me.
So I'm going to slap a saddle on a grouchy old triceratops named Remington and trundle off into the sunset.
If you need me, I'll be writing a book.
(It should be noted, in case anyone was wondering, that I have
been writing, if not terribly quickly. I just haven't been updating this beast, because I am terrible and also easily distracted by all sorts of things, such as the internet, video games, shiny bits of colored glass, and laser pointers.)