Sorry for my absence the past couple of weeks, in the middle of a series. A writing project with deadlines ate up most of the time devoted to this blog. I don’t post consistently anyway, so perhaps you were not expecting more. Sorry anyway. We’ll pick up The Casual Vacancy again next time.
I wanted to give a shout out to NaNoWriMo, even though it’s already the 5th of November, and to encourage you all to write something everyday this month. In previous years, I’ve done a “First Lines and Titles” game, but people don’t seem all that interested in that. That’s fine. The point of National Novel Writing Month is more about pushing past writers’ block or procrastination or the intimidation of the blank page to GET SOMETHING DOWN than it is necessarily about coming up with pithy brilliance. So here’s what I’d like to try this month. Everyday, write something. Write a grocery list. Write down what you did today. Write down how much you hate writing. Whatever. I don’t care. Write it on the backs of receipts, old calendars, bank statements, gum wrappers, or even a special journal if you’re feeling fancy. Whatever you have handy. Just take five minutes (or less) everyday and jot something down. Hopefully it will be something that has meaning to you. My theory is that writing is as much about habit as it is about inspiration and hard work, and maybe this teeny month-long exercise will help us all get in the habit of writing a little something. More than that, it will get us in the habit of being more observant, more thoughtful about what’s going on around us. Try to be deliberate and conscious as you approach your daily writing, but only as deliberate and conscious as you can afford to be. If your writing has to happen while you brown the meat for dinner while a toddler pelts you with Cheerios, there’s only so much awareness to go around. Do what you can.
TODAY (whenever you read this post) just make a little comment here that you’re going to write something– ANYTHING!– everyday from now until the end of the month. It’s just 25 days. And I’ll do this with you, here on the blog. Everyday I’ll post a little prompt (in case you need one), and I’ll include a short reflection of my own (not related to the prompt, because I don’t want to influence what you do end up writing). At the end of the month, I’ll ask you all to share how many days you wrote, and about how many words you wrote. Anyone who writes all 25 days gets a prize. If no one writes for 25 days, a prize will be given to the person with the highest combined total of days and words written.
Papers count. Letters to the editor count. Facebook statuses count. Your signature, probably, should NOT count, but whatever, it’s all self-reported anyway. 🙂 Just write a little something everyday and see how it goes. And if you choose to write a “first lines and titles” entry as part of your daily writing, extra-winning for you. 🙂 Come on, just do it during a commercial break. It’ll be fun!