My husband is fond of saying, “Projects without deadlines don’t get done.”
This post was originally written for YA Outside The Lines, where I’m honored to be a monthly blogger. But I thought it appropriate to share here too. This month, writers around the globe are celebrating NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, where they challenge themselves to craft a full novel (50,000 words) during the 30 days of November.
Talk about an impressive deadline!
But since I recently finished my first draft of a YA novel, I’ve decided to create on my own version, which I’ve termed NaNoREVISEMo.
I tend to hold onto a manuscript, editing it over and over, until someone has to pry it from my hands. I will sometimes focus on one chapter, one paragraph, one WORD for days. NaNo invites us, allows us, to put our inner editors on the back burners while pushing forward to write the story in our hearts.
Imagine that. Permission for a month of peace without my inner editor popping in every few paragraphs to ask me if I’m sure I want to use that semi-colon there; to point out the scene I’m writing (much as I love it) isn’t really adding to the plot; to question the dialogue – “OMG! Are you delusional? No one talks like that!”
And to let me know Starbucks is hiring for the holidays: “Are you sure you don’t want to consider a new career…?”
But NaNo says NO. Go away, inner editor. You are banned for 30 days.
It can be very freezing freeing. (See, inner editor? I can find mistakes on my own, thank you very much.)
(I just used the word “very”. Twice. And “just”. JUST! My inner editor is freaking out somewhere.)
It can allow us to reach that elusive finish line.
(She’s breaking out in hives right now. She wants me to add one more example to fulfill the rule of three.)
Which feels pretty darn good.
Oh sure, we’ll have to go back and revise. That’s a given. My inner editor will totally call me to the carpet for “pretty darn good.”
(The veins have begun to pop out on her head. “Call me to the carpet” is cliché.)
But she’ll get over it. Because she’s an editor…and you can’t edit a blank page.
Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have a deadline to attend to.