I was feeling very unmotivated recently (as you can probably see by the lack of posts on this blog — I apologize), perhaps because of the darker mornings, perhaps because of the ever-coming work in my day job. I don’t know that it was any one thing. I don’t think it’s ever any one thing. But whatever the reason(s), I needed a good kick in my butt.
Not to say that I haven’t been writing. I managed a good couple weeks of getting up early and sitting in front of the computer every morning, and some mornings, I actually got some good stuff done. But it always felt tough, like I was dragging myself.
Then one morning, I was stuck on a particular section and I allowed a distraction to get to me, I started reading the writing blogs I subscribe to on my iGoogle page, and, after following a few interesting links, I got to author Holly Lisle’s website. While browsing her nav bar, I found gold: How To Quit Your Day Job. Eureka! I keep thinking that if I could just quit my day job, I’d have so much more time to write.
I devoured the six-part article looking for some part that would say, “Quit now! Just do it! You’ll be all right. And if you need money, just wish for it and the out-of-work-author’s money tree will come to your rescue.”
Ok, maybe I wasn’t that niave. But I did hope that she would offer some secret way to start working as a full-time novelist before you’re a full-time novelist. But, she didn’t. She pretty much said what I already knew: work on your novel while you’re doing something else, save your money and don’t quit your day job until you have enough savings to support you for six months to a year AND you have the strong prospect of money coming in either through signed contracts or a book sale.
Even though the information was all stuff I had already figured out, it felt really good reading her article, because she talked about when she did it — and she had to do it twice, the first time to much warning from her family and friends and the second time permanently. It felt good to know that someone else was in the same boat as me at one time, working hard to balance family, a day job and writing, and she stuck with it, busted her butt and became a full-time novelist. If she can do it, I can do it.
And you can do it too. November is National Novel Writing Month, where you sign up and join thousands of other participants in writing a 50,000-word novel in one month. It’s doable; lots of people have done it for the last few years. It’s not important that you write a masterpiece in that time. It’s just important that you write. It’s a way of encouraging people to do what we’re always talking about on this blog: sitting down — or standing if you’re so inclined — and writing, no matter what you’re writing, whether it’s brilliant or dreary (that’s what editing is for), just so long as you’re writing.
I didn’t sign up to participate because I’m in revising mode, and I couldn’t figure out a good way to enter word counts when I’m not writing something fresh. But, with Holly Lisle’s inspiration pushing me along, I’m going to unofficially participate in National Novel Writing Month by making sure that I write every day.
Want to join me? Let me know if you’re writing with NANOWRIMO, or, if not, be an every-dayer like me. I tell you what, I’ll check in with a blog post every day to let you know I wrote, and you can do the same. I set a goal that I would be finished with my novel edit by the end of November. I’m behind on that and don’t know if I’ll make it, but working every day, maybe I will.
Good luck and Write On!
I decided to write the children’s book I have had in my head since January during NaNoWriMo. At day 11 I am up to just over 31,000 words.
Over the past 11 deays I have variously loved, hated, or been indifferent to my book, and today, for the first time since I started, it has taken on a life of its own; the characters are becoming more real and interesting, and I’m looking forward to my daily session.
I actually think it could be quite good…
That’s wonderful, Tricia. Yeah, it’s funny how the characters and story will take over after a while. Congratulations on your word count. Looks like you’re way ahead to get to 50,000 by the end of the month. Keep it up, and let us know how you get along.