November: Time To Write and Get Productive!
Well that’s it – the clocks are officially rolled back and it’s time to go into hibernation mode and bundle up for the cold winter nights ahead. But what are you going to be doing with that time? For me, here in the UK, it seems no coincidence that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) falls at this particular time of year when we are all rooting out the big comfy jumpers and doing our best to judge how the grand old British weather will be behaving today (although that is an annual national pastime, but we are more keenly focused during the autumn/winter months). Staying in and writing just seems like a much better prospect, right?
For many years I have observed NaNoWriMo from afar. Somewhat defeating the point by convincing myself that I was too busy to participate. I am sure many of you will forgive me and agree that completing a PhD thesis in the last few years was its own mammoth task, and of course I didn’t have time to write a novel in a month as well. But then I think of all those evenings sat watching mental fast food on the TV and lament at all those lost hours.
That’s the point of NaNoWriMo, right? To prove to yourself that with a bit of determination and re-prioritising you can achieve even the most insurmountable tasks in the space of a month. Will it be a finished product ready for publication? No, probably not (we can but dream…), but then that is not the point. If completed and the approx. 1,600 words/day target is achieved then you have two tangible things that you can work with as a result. Firstly, you have a draft. How great is that? After thinking about it and wondering if you can do it, however well its executed, you know you can at least produce the work. And once you have that draft editing and rewrites suddenly seem a lot less daunting.
Secondly, as well as the sense of satisfaction having completed your first draft of your novel, you will have also cemented a solid writing routine. Just think how much you could achieve with that? Even if your first novel draft makes less sense than a Donald Trump debate response, you will have that routine that you can carry on. Hell, keep going and you could write another novel before the year is up.
So with all of this in mind, and myself determined to keep follow through and complete NaNoWriMo this year, I have decided to dedicate the blog this month to exploring these ideas of productivity and creating a habit of practice that achieves results. Yes, writing will be the instigator of this theme, but it is also not its limit. These will be posts and thoughts about all aspects of creative thinking, art, and productivity that can easily translate to your own work whatever medium that may be in.
So keep an eye out for all that to come and make sure to keep up to date on Facebook and Instagram, or hit subscribe in the sidebar. But for now, I have some writing to do – those first 1,600 words will not write themselves.