Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm writing a book!

November is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) and this year I've decided to participate. I'm not actually writing a true novel. I'm writing my memoirs. More specifically I'm writing about the same things I write about on this blog, only with a more biographical slant.

I'm starting out just writing a series of stories as if each one was a blog post. I'm not worrying about how they all fit together. Or if they are in chronological order. Or polishing them.

When I'm done, the plan is to edit them into book format so that they do tie together somehow and present a coherent story.

It's only day three and I've already learned a lot.

I learned by the advice to "write something every day" is good advice. The first day, I didn't get home from work until 8:30 pm and by the time I decompressed and ate dinner and otherwise collected myself, it was 10:00 pm. Darn, I thought, too late to write now.

But I had committed to writing every day so I sat down to do it anyway. I had some stuff on the DVR I wanted to watch so I sat on the couch with my iPad and wrote. I figured it was better than nothing. By the time I went to bed, I had written 1700+ words! They were decent words too.

The next day, I didn't get home quite so late but it was Friday evening, not a time I generally ever accomplish anything. It's my goof off time. But, again, I had committed to writing everyday so I sat down, went over my iPad fueled writing to flesh it out now that I had a laptop with a full keyboard, and add a "few" words to it.

Voila! I was not up to 3447 words in just two days. While working 10 hours of overtime and doing Halloween and planning out several social events for my triathlon club.

If I keep this up, I really will have a book at the end of the month. I've always wanted to write a book and one of my reasons not to was that I "just didn't have time." Except, it appears, I do have time. As long as I split it up into manageable chunks.

I had planned to do something similar this year with running. I was going to run every day. I had read about the benefits of doing so including racking up mileage with less injury. I couldn't run this year due to the head. But my head is a lot  better so I think I'll try again in 2013.

I'm thinking I might want to do this for a lot of things I always planned to do but never got around to. One reason why I still keep up this blog four years after I started it is that it's bite-sized, standalone chunks. I can easily knock out a blog post in my spare time. Sure, some require research or more thought and take several days. But not all do.

I knew intellectually that this approach works for many things we want to do in life, but the first few days of NaNoWriMo have really brought that home to me in a concrete way.

I've also learned a lot about myself. For example, I figured out the real reason I hate cupcakes! I'm working on the childhood years now and, while I haven't forgotten Hanson's cupcakes and a diet largely made up of stuff that "fell off" the back of my Dad's truck, I never tied the two together before.

But I think for the rest of what I'm learning, you'll have to wait for the book!
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