With the turn of the calendar page I have subjected myself to a new challenge. My writer friends will recognize the term NaNoWriMo (shorthand for National November Writers Month), during which the goal is to write a previously unplanned new novel. I have never participated in that challenge. It's too near Thanksgiving and Christmas with their activities and priorities and time-consuming plans. Hats off to those writers who are able to devote that time in the fall. Besides, I have never been good at writing exercises that aren't related to a work I have in mind. I've often said it would be better to have a springtime challenge of that sort.
Someone else thought the same thing! A neat, new opportunity showed up this week via Facebook. Through a comment posted by an unmet writer friend on FB, I discovered Speedbo, a 31-day event for the month of March, sponsored by www.http://seekerville.net. No "rules." We set our own goals: choice of project, word-counts; we can share those on the site, or not, as we choose, and there are incentives along the way. I find this very motivating and freeing.
I dug out early starts on a long-planned novel called "Whispers From the Dust" and spent the first hour reading to put me back in the frame of the story. Then I spent several hours freewriting a couple of scenes I knew had to happen. I didn't concern myself with chronology - that will come later. Much later. According to the only "rules" (really just guidelines), we're not to consider editing until the first draft is completed.
Aye, there's the rub. The Inner Editor who raises her grouchy head on nearly every line of print, demanding a better word here, a grammatical change there, even a correction of a typo over there. She is said to be the worst enemy of the first draft, which is expected to be crummy (and even a more graphic descriptor is used by many writing gurus).
I did find her to be very difficult yesterday. I've always edited and polished as I write--hence a difficulty in getting things finished. If you have the same problem, I refer you to Erica Vetch and her motivating blog at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com She has a hilarious solution for dealing with your Inner Editor. I plan to follow her suggestion. It involves duct tape.
Choose Life. . .
Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"
Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).
I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!
How about you?