Friday, 26 November 2021

NaNoWriMo Got You Down?






Joy? Ease? Flow?

What have I missed here? What's it been like for you?

Exactly how has your NaNoWriMo* been going?

Have you just completed that first draft of your spectacular, genre crushing, New York Times bestseller yet?

How close are you to completing your 50,000 word novel?

50,000 words!

That's all you need to write in order to conquer, dominate and stomp all over NaNoWriMo. And it doesn't even need to make any sense.

50,000 words.

1,667 words each day over a period of 30 days.

Sure, 50,000 words might seem like a lot to write and get done. Especially if you've been hovering around the 2,000 words mark, or so, for most of November.

If that's the case, you've got A LOT of catching up to do. Good luck. Time is ticking - November is almost done.

If you've completed your NaNoWriMo: well, congratulations to you. You've earned the right to be smug and boast about it on your favourite writers' hangout online.

If you're close to completing... then get cracking. Get yourself over that finish line. Come on Buttercup - there's so much gloating to be enjoyed.

Regardless of the NaNoWriMo category you fit into the world NEEDS your creativity; the world needs your contribution.

The world NEEDS your unique perspective and your approach to this wonderful thing you do of expressing yourself.

The world needs your novel.

Do whatever it takes to get those words written.

1,667 words per day. You can do this!

NaNoWriMo is a glorious movement. It has inspired an inordinate amount of authors and wannabe authors.

NaNoWriMo doesn't have to take place only in November.

It can be every month. Better yet, it can be every day.

Since you're serious about getting good at writing I urge you to make YOUR NaNoWriMo EVERY DAY!

Regardless of your experience of the actual NaNoWriMo this year, you can dominate the fook out of it going forward. Work on your writing muscle and turn it into a discipline or a habit you get flex every day.

It's not difficult. It's not impossible.

Simply get that rear in your writing seat and write, write, write.

Like I mentioned, the world needs your contribution. It needs it a lot sooner than you'd expect.

Now stop procrastinating and get writing.

*NaNoWriMo = Aah! That glorious time of the year, National Novel Writing Month, every November when hundreds of thousands of authors commit to complete a 50,000 word novel. It's a flurry of creativity, inspiration and community. Some writers nail down their 50,000 words of a rough draft, eventually going on to publish their polished novels with a traditional publisher... whilst others fall by the way side, sidelined by the distractions of life. This wonderful madness has been going on since the very first NaNoWriMo in 1999, starting out with just 21 crazy people hungry enough to get their novels written.

Friday, 19 November 2021

"How to Write Every Day..."

So, you reckon it's about time to start taking this writing thing seriously?

It's time to get your writing done in a more disciplined way.

Well my friend, it looks to me you've finally got yourself to the point of needing to habitualize this whole skillset.

What you're needing is a routine.

A ritual.

A habit.

Consider this: You and I are meat suits or a bag o'bones driven by a set of conflicting wants, needs and desires.

And habits.

These wants, needs, desires and habits move us to take actions or get us to the point of inaction (until an external force or hunger or passion acts on us).

Now, habits are those nasty little things that can sabotage us and keep us from getting the things we want in life - the things we do automatically that can negatively impact our health and wreck our chances at living the life of our dreams.

Alternatively habits are those wonderful, joyful things we jump out of bed to get going with - those things we do automatically that can positively impact our health or set us up for success... or at least give us the best darn possibility of being successful.

Whatever success might mean for you, the thing that will get you there is not motivation or a goal. Having a goal is lovely and all... but its akin to wishful thinking if you're not taking DAILY action to get there. Motivation is ok, I guess. But it's the same as having a goal if you are not taking that DAILY action.

Stop short changing yourself. You don't need motivation or a goal.

The thing that WILL bring you success is a neat little habit.

A consistent, daily habit.

That thing you do automatically, without having to force yourself into doing it. Even on days when you simply don't feel like doing the thing. In your case: writing.

"But Jason, I'm naturally lazy!"


You're not lazy. You simply haven't installed the right habits.

Or rather, you've installed a habit or habits of not getting things done. Like writing.

Or at least not WRITING EVERY DAY.

You ain't lazy. You need that habit of daily writing.

Everyone is Lazy

And now, I reserve the right to contradict myself. I'll put this another way: everyone IS naturally lazy. It's the default mode.

You are not alone. Phew!

There you go Buttercup... quit beating up on yourself.

Also stop excusing your lack of getting shit done for this supposedly immutable characteristic you can't seem to do a damn thing about.

You see, you too can do something about it. Anyone who has ever achieve anything on a grand scale had to find some way of getting over their 'natural laziness'.

And you can too...

Let's imagine you are exactly like Elon Musk... or Kobe Bryant... or Stephen King... or J.K. Rowling.

How is it that they have gone on to achieve these incredible successes in their fields and you're sitting in your underwear, snacking on Cheetos, reading this in the hope of some form of salvation?

Habits. Habits. Habits. Habits.

Sure, Musk might be more intelligent. Bryant might have bern taller. King might be more imaginative. Rowling might be a better wordsmith.

These natural abilities have come in handy to assist them in their chosen pursuits.

Each of them at some point in their lives installed habits that assisted them with their natural abilities.

They overcame their default mode, they got beyond that human tendency towards slothfulness. And you can too.

I have no way of knowing what your natural abilities are. Maybe you're a tall, intelligent, imaginative wordsmith. Maybe you're a short, intelligent, imaginative, wordsmith.

Maybe you're neither.

Well... you're clearly intelligent. Intelligent and so very, very attractive. You're here, reading this blog post after all. That's a clear sign of intellect, attractiveness and having discerning taste. (Even though you might be sitting in your underwear, snacking on Cheetos, reading this).

Regardless, it's time you start installing some new habits.

If you're not writing everyday then it's time to upgrade your output and get that butt in your writing seat and begin churning out words.

Start with creating a 5 minute block of writing time. EVERY. DAY.

Make it sacrosanct.

If you're brave bump that up to 15 minutes or 30 minutes. 

If you're psycho-insane, a glutton for punishment and prepared to commit... then do an hour or more.

If you're already writing on a daily basis, that's excellent. Go ahead and bump up the amount of time you spend on your writing.

Internalize the habit.

Turn it into something you do every day, preferably at the same time.

Write, write, write!

"But Jason, I can't! I've got a life and responsibilities..."

No excuses, Buttercup!

Cut down on your Netflix bingefests and your mindless Instagram/Facebook scrolling (or whatever time-wasting guilty pleasures you have). They aren't serving you no matter how you try to justify them.

Wake up an hour earlier. Go to bed an hour later.

Skip over the housework... or postpone it for the duration of your writing session.

Isolate yourself during your lunch break, stow yourself away somewhere to write.

I don't know your life situation or where you'll be able to steal a block of time each day in order to write. What I do know is that it's possible to do so. I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't have a sliver of time they can take from something else and dedicate it to writing.

This whole writing thing is important to you, right?

You wouldn't have read this far or even discovered this secret corner of the internet if it wasn't.

I give you permission to be selfish about your writing. You have permission, if that's what you need, to take a chunk of time from something else... anything else... and dedicate it to establishing your daily writing habit.

(Just don't jeopardise your source(s) of income. Your boss won't like that. Neither will your significant other. Or your kids/pets. And don't get me started on your bank manager or the taxman. They won't approve either. You have so many people depending on you. Keep those sources of income flowing steadily).

Keep the job and write in the gaps.

Now my friend... set yourself free... and write, write, write.

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