November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and people all over the world will be making the commitment to themselves, and their writing, to sit down each day and write. The aim is to write around 1600 words a day, every day, and to end the month with the first draft of a novel. Ta da!
Well, it will probably be a pretty ropey first draft, but that’s not the point. The point is to do it. To get started, to show up, to build a habit and to launch yourself towards something you’ve always dreamed of doing. It’s a cliché that so many people want to write books, but how many people actually do? There’s even a term for it - the ‘someday’ writer - as in ‘someday I’ll write that book…’. I think the person who started NaNoWriMo realised something crucial about creativity: that it’s something we need to work on every day if we’re ever going to achieve the things we want for it.
This November I’ve decided to play along with NaNoWriMo, but as I am contrary I’m not aiming for the first draft of a novel, I’m using the structure to get myself into the writing habit. For too long I’ve been saying I’m going to give some proper attention to my creative practice, but it always ends up being sporadic and a bit fair weather. Not anymore. Next month I am going to show up and write whether I feel in the mood or not, whether I am inspired or not. Because, lately I have begun to realise that it is the act of showing up that is the most important element of our creative practices. It’s not the finished work, it’s not the moment of inspiration, it is doing the work you need to do come rain or shine.Read More