Everyone is prepping for NaNo next month, which is approaching quickly. But to the angst of a lot of writers, I can’t see myself participating in it. I figure there are a lot of contributing factors for my hesistance. A fear of failure. Not making the time to write every day. Forgetting to write every day. Not having a goal–even one set by NaNo. Not having ideas for novels, though I could be using the next two weeks to come up with one. The list can go on and on if I really applied myself. At the same time, I could use that same energy to brainstorm ideas, compose character interviews, outline my story, and so on. I want to do something writing-related where I feel a sense of accomplishment without as much pressure. So, here’s what I’ve decided.
For November, I want to finish the short stories I’ve started this year. By my count, I have about three stories that need completion. What to do with them once they’re done is another story. I know, it’s not much of a goal, but hear me out. There’s reasoning behind this endeavor.
One, I have a bad habit of starting one thing, then jumping to something else. I try to multi-task with no success. Something gets neglected. The same can be said with my short stories. I’ll start a story, but the moment I don’t “feel” a story, I jump to something else. That’s a problem. I have scenes on my phone, story starters on my laptop and notebook. It’s exhausting keeping up with all of them.
And two, unlike most writers, I can’t complete a story in one sitting. And the reason why is because I want to edit while writing, and that slows everything down. It’s frustrating because the “editor” wants to nick-pick at every little word and detail. And I end up getting very little done.
So how do I tackle this goal. Number one, I have to set aside time to write. I have to look at my schedule and say to myself—and others—that I’m going to write at this time on this day. Two, I have to figure out which story will be easiest to complete with the time given. I have to look at my draft books and phone and see where I’m at with each story and determine if it’s viable enough to write. Three, I have to let the “creative” side lock the door, as it were, and not let anybody else in until he’s finished. This is probably going to be the most difficult step because of my perfectionism. But it must be done if I am going to conquer this task.
I realize saying NaNo is not for me is more assumption than truth because I haven’t done it before. And to most writers, the reasons I listed for not doing NaNo can be labeled as excuses. But working on more manageable goals while still adhering to a deadline works better for me. I don’t feel as much pressure. Still, this is a task that will not be easy considering the circumstances. Wish me luck.