Dusting Off the Laptop…

Carly & Harper take over the laptop
Is this why I can’t get any writing done?

November is, as anyone with writerly aspirations knows, National Novel Writing Month — better known as NaNoWriMo — a 30-day marathon intended to end with a 50,000-word first draft of a novel. It’s a humongous task, but one I’ve considered participating in over the years. I’ve always talked myself out of it, however, mostly because I could never think of an idea that seemed good enough to warrant that level of effort. I have always been more of a personal essay type of writer, as this blog (back when I was writing regularly, anyway) demonstrates, and I find fiction rather daunting.

This year is a bit different. I do have an idea knocking around in my head, or the beginnings of one anyway. It doesn’t feel ready yet, though. And to be honest, I don’t feel ready either. I’ve long since fallen off the daily writing habit, not just here, but in private as well, and that is absolutely essential not only to succeeding at NaNoWriMo, but to writing in general. Continue reading

Accountability

My little Twitter bird.
My little Twitter bird.

Last week, as part of my office’s staff retreat, we had a brief writing workshop. We were told beforehand to bring an object that signifies who we are as a writer for the icebreaker exercise. I knew what to grab right away — my Twitter bird, shown above. Why? Because my first thought was, “I used to be a writer; now I just tweet.”

(In order to not be a total Debbie Downer about my chosen career, which I do, in fact, like, I tempered my statement by also mentioning the upside of being a professional Twitter monkey: I’m ruthless about cutting extra words. You want someone who’ll eliminate the jargon? I’m your girl.)

But anyway…

The months of dormancy here on Ye Olde Blogge make it clear I’m not just imagining that I’m not writing, because if I was, some of it would have made it here. And so, I decided to do something about it — I signed up for an online writing class. Every day for five weeks I’ll be getting exercises and prompts via email designed to get me into (or back into) a daily writing habit, and there’s also a private Facebook group for questions, encouragement, etc.

I’m hoping to explore some things that are a little scary for me, like fiction writing. I worry that I might suck at it, at least initially, but I’m vowing here, in public, to push through.

Please wish me luck.

Oh… and in case you haven’t figured it out, today’s exercise was about accountability.