Lots of folks are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month. According to the website, there are over 200,000 people registered.
Thatsa lotta books.
I’m not one of that 200,000+, and I feel guilty for some strange reason. Not that I feel some kind of obligation to participate in NaNoWriMo, but I feel guilty for my reason for not doing so: I just don’t need it. My understanding of the event is that it’s a motivational tool. Challenge yourself to write 1700 words a day for 30 days. Thing is, I already write every day. I’m already driven to write. I’ve written 3 books in the past year and a half, plus a few short stories. Granted, book #3 is in the “knock this thing into shape before an editor sees it” phase, but it’s one that I’m writing under contract, so it’s gonna get done. I don’t have any trouble with the BICFOK part of writing (Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard). I do find my word count is higher if I close my web browsers and keep them closed. Ergo breaks are important. Reading breaks are important. If I don’t read other people’s work, my own gets stale.
Someone asked me recently what I do when I don’t feel like writing. I end up sounding like a Nike commercial. “Just do it.” I sit in my chair and bang away at it, one painful sentence at a time, because I’ve found that it’s not a block, it’s a bottleneck. If I can just get past whatever troublesome scene is coming up slow (I usually complain that I’m digging to China with a rusty spork), it always flows better on the other side. Just get there. Just do it. No matter how long it takes.