I began NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) yesterday in the hopes of pounding out the rest of the first draft of my Hemingway book. I’ve completed most of the research and have 150 pages written, but I like the deadlines and the pressure associated with a writing contest to push me through the rest of the book.
I am a writer who loves that perfect writer setting. Every day I look toward 1:30 as my special writing time when I’ll put the little ones down for naps, turn on the Pandora classical mix, brew some half-caff coffee, and use those few hours of uninterrupted bliss to put the words of my masterpiece on the page.
What actually happens: I don’t get the kids down until 2:00 because we’ve been out at the park, or playing with friends, or running errands. Then I throw in some laundry. Then I tidy up the kitchen. Then I mess around on Twitter and Facebook. Then I remember to brew my coffee but can’t find the filters, so I spend 5 minutes hunting through the pantry and garage for the big bag of them. Then the phone rings, and as badly as I don’t want to answer it, my caller ID rarely works, so I must. It might be that literary agent I’ve been chatting with these past few weeks and I don’t want to miss it. (It’s not typically that literary agent.) Then I sit down to write, but I find an email from my son’s teacher with a quick question, so I answer it, and we chat back and forth for a bit.
Then I start writing.
One sentence, two sentences, I start a third and my oldest son comes in the door from school.
NaNoWriMo is meant to keep writers (like me) on task. It grants us permission to ignore the laundry, tidying, phone calls, (blogging :)), and social networking that eat up valuable writing time. I gave my husband and children a speech yesterday about how disorganized the house would be this month while I was working through my draft. They just looked at me, blinked, and went on their way. As it turns out, I’m the only one who cares about tidiness, and organization, and folded laundry. So I gave myself permission to be a slob this month, and invest my energy into building my little, fictional world.
Wish me luck!
(And please don’t stop over, unannounced.)