So right now a lot of writing friends and I are stocking up on coffee, candy, and Prozac, building our bunkers for National Novel Writing Month (fondly known as NaNoWriMo). Only I don’t like coffee, so I make up for it with chocolate. To each her own.
NaNoWriMo is a blitz to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days. (Of course, no, one isn’t writing a publishable book in 30 days, nor is 50,000 words a complete novel in nearly any genre. But that’s not exactly the point, either, so work with us here.)
Considering that at my sugar-and-caffeine-induced perfect zone, I peak at about 1000 words per hour, and that’s not really sustainable — I know a lot of professionals who are quite pleased with 250 words per hour — and considering that normal life doesn’t actually suspend for most of us, you can see the challenge here. So motivation and discipline are big concepts for the NaNo community.
There are lots of ways NaNo writers motivate themselves, but it boils down to several commonly-used terms — small incentives, big incentives, anti-incentives, and rituals.
Let’s look at them from a professional behavior perspective.
A friend joked about my copious free time. “I mean, what do you have to do, really? You’re self-employed, so you can totally slack off there. And you’re writing a book, and that can’t be hard. I mean, really, how long can that take?”
He was joking about all of it, of course, which is why he’s still breathing. But he put forth a question which many people do ask less ironically — how long can writing a book take, really? (Seriously, just look at fans complaining about George R. R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss needing time.)
That’s the wrong question — as NaNoWriMo and the 8-Hour Book Challenge prove, writing a story may not take long at all. But writing a good story does.
Oh gosh. Hold on a sec and let me catch my breath.
Okay, author J.A. Konrath wrote a post on (among other things) maintaining the joy of creating without fussing over commercialism or perfectionism, and he ended with a challenge to create an entire book in just 8 hours.
That’s the entire book project. Writing, revising, formatting, creating a cover, and publishing. Complete.
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays — but it wasn’t exactly popular during Heian and Kamakura eras in Japan, for obvious reasons. So here on the blog we’re going to celebrate Twelve Days of Kitsune, and each post we’ll discover a new folk tale, period foods, or other fun surprises related to Kitsune-Tsuki and Kitsune-Mochi.