Friday, October 28, 2011

Sleep deprivation and other forms of insanity

Work has left me feeling stressed out and crazy. So it goes. Of course my work schedule and job descriptions don't add to the sanity or the number of hours I sleep per night. So in the midst of all this, I have decided to do NaNoWriMo. Because the exact thing that stressed out, sleep deprived, overly busy people who feel they have no time for themselves should do is write the shitty 50,000 word first draft of a novel in 30 days.

Yep. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

... that or a restful, restorative weekend at a spa ... but it was definitely one of the two.

There's the saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. So my NaNoWriMo declaration should read something like a love letter to myself.
Dear busy-self, I love you and I know you've been feeling down, so I'd like you to do this extra task for me. It'll make us both feel good, accomplished, proud. What's 50,000 words between friends, after all? You're the only person I can count on to do this. And if you can have it to me by or before November 30 that would be great. kthxbye.
Logic says that I shouldn't attempt this. However, NaNo-logic says this is the perfect time to write a novel. Right, smack-dab in the middle of your hectic life. If you don't write your novel now, when will you? Does life ever get less busy?

And -- the thing that really made my decision for me -- I miss writing.

I've been so focused on work (the kind with the paycheck) that I haven't been writing lately. Occasionally I muster enough energy and focus to think  about writing, but no new words land on the page. I'm starting to understand why some of my faculty write like crazy over the summer months -- because they're too busy being faculty and parents and responsible citizens during the school year. While I have the luxury of not having a toddler, I don't know if I have the luxury of waiting; their jobs are much more secure than mine. Writing the novel is the most important step in getting the novel published, so if I want to fulfill that dream of mine -- the one where I see my name on a book cover -- then I need to get words on the page. I need to write my shitty first draft.

(See Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird for what a shitty first draft is and why you should want one.)

Are you talking yourself into or out of it this fall?

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