It Looks Like My Dance Card is Filling Up

I just bought a ticket to see David Sedaris at the Long Beach Convention Center Friday night, and the following night I’m going to a Halloween party with Vlada, thrown by one of her Paley Center coworkers. And that’s followed the next week, of course, with the Doctor Horrible Sing-A-Long Screening. All part of my efforts to get out in the world and acquire stories to blog about.

I’m not doing as well with that new-found determination to read at least a book a month, though I did just pick up the Sandman graphic novels from my friend Rod (as well as the second half of the FullMetal Alchemist anime), so that should keep me busy for awhile.

I am very impressionable – when it comes to genres. There’s an attention span issue that effects my writing, one I don’t know how to correct. I have a myriad of projects in nearly every avenue of writing because my interest and enthusiasm wax and wane according to my exposure. I read Me Talk Pretty One Day, and I have to tell my own story. I go to the movies and leave wanting to write the next Juno. Just walking into a bookstore makes me determined to craft the great American novel.

I feel as if there just isn’t enough time – that if I just handle these projects one at a time I’ll lose whatever spark inspired me in the first place. The drawback to that, of course, is that I have a nearly impossible time finishing anything.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, where the goal is – you guessed it – to write a novel in a month. I’ve made attempts nearly every year since I was seventeen, and have never successfully completed it. November’s not a great month for me; what with my birthday, my dad’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and usually at least one sickness, not to mention midterms, I start off strong and lose steam by the fourteenth. By Thanksgiving weekend, my novel is cooked.

I’ve revisited some of my previous NaNoWriMo projects, but they haven’t gone anywhere. This year, I’m going to try something different. Since NaNoWriMo is really just a competition with yourself, no one minds if you bend the rules. Ideally you’re supposed to write 50,000 words from scratch starting November 1st, but starting things has never been my problem. Instead of adding yet another project to my overcrowded plate, I’m going to set the goal of finishing one of my existing works of art by the end of November, and it’s going to be non-fiction.

And all you lucky readers of my blog will get to see excerpts. Isn’t that thrilling? (Just nod yes.) What else is a blog for if not to share the pain?

In lieu of a television review this week, please enjoy this picture of my dog Pilot - yes, his ears really are that big.
In lieu of a television review this week, please enjoy this picture of my dog Pilot - yes, his ears really are that big.

Quote of the Day:

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.

Link of the Day: The NaNoWriMo Forums – how to get started and connect with the other thousands of people just as crazy as you.

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