I am participating in Camp Nanowrimo this month. What this is a mini – if you choose it to be – version of Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s a webpage, an online group, an organization, a movement! that inspires and supports writers to complete the rough draft of a novel in the month of November: at least 50,000 words. You track it on the website and you get a bar graph and all kinds of encouragement, etc. In Camp Nanowrimo you set your own goals. I’ve done both before and haven’t reached the goal any of the times I tried. This month I’m certainly going to make it and in a way I already have.
Here is what I mean:
I set my goal at 100 hours for the month and the completion of the rough draft of my play. I vastly overestimated the time it would take to finish it even though I had research, reading, writing, and preliminary revising to do. I even included time for a dramatic reading so I could make corrections after seeing how it played. Except for the reading, I have that all done with only 30 hours in. (Feels good!)
I have, of course, committed myself to following through on the 100 hours for this month. There’s plenty to write! My next project to tackle with this left over time is preparing smaller pieces for submission.
As you might already know, as a now stay at home writer I have been seeking a routine. I have quite the routine resistant personality but if I’m honest with myself I know I’m floundering without one. I think the goal of 100 hours a month of writing time works. Some days, morning aren’t going to work for writing because Babu has a doctor’s appointment and some days I’m burnt out by the afternoon. Some days I have three people’s month’s worth of laundry to do and it feels good to get it done. Even some days life creeps in and I am spending time with people I love having fun, relaxing, and connecting. So I need the flexibility. Also, knowing I have to get the 100 hours in makes me feel like I have a job. Like I’m going to work. What I’m trying to say is that this month I have felt a good sense of purpose with my writing. I feel focused and a little balanced. This is new. I like it.
There is one thing throwing off my focus and it revolves around where my passion as a writer and my passion – addiction? – to the theatre connect. I could see my focus shifting to writing for the theatre. Writing more plays and less short stories and novels. Why? Because some stories I can only see as plays, as being told from the stage, and because of how FUN it would be to write it and direct them. I love directing and I could have all the control of how my own work gets published, so to speak. I have a dream to start a very small local theatre company that produces locally written plays – mine included, of course. I’d say, why not go for it, except I have a fear of how it will take away from my other writing. I have a novel I want to continue to try to get published and I have other novels in me and other short stories. When I think about where I want to go as a writer, it’s all about getting books published. Theatre tends to take over people’s lives. I know. When I’ve done it, it was time consuming and the most exciting thing!
This all made me think about fear. Will I really stop writing other things if I step more into writing for the theatre and directing? If I want to write other things, I really doubt I’ll stop. Creativity tends to breed creativity. I got to thinking about the purpose of fear. It’s not to stop me from doing something. Worrying about my other writing should not even be something that gives me pause, it’s that much of an illegitimate concern. But that concern made me aware and if I follow this theatrical idea through, I will be fueled to make sure my other writing doesn’t fall through the cracks.
Now, only if I could find a way to pursue this and also be home for Babu when I need to be. Rehearsals at my house it is!