I suppose I could write about the ongoing fiasco that is Iraq. Or I could rail against the amazing hypocrisy of the Canadian government pledging 40 million dollars in the fight against world poverty and paying for it by cutting spending on programming for the poorest and most at-risk citizens of its own country. I could even idly speculate on when the Pope will issue a fatwa against Elton John for saying that organized religion condones homophobia. (I know that the Popes don’t do that sort of thing, but I bet this guy wishes he could – he's the type who looks like he regrets the revoking of the Inquisition's charter.)
But quite frankly that's far too depressing and we've all listened to everybody, including me, enlighten the masses as to our considered opinions on most of those subjects anyway. So instead of boring you to tears with stuff you hear about all the time, I'll take some of your precious reading time today to bore you about a subject dear to my heart, me and my writing.
Okay so I write about that almost as much as I write about anything else, hell I've even written a book on it (Shameless plug/link warning), NaNoWriMo Notes: An Exercise In Creative Insanity, but it's been a while since I've exercised that prerogative so I thought you might be prepared to indulge me a little. (If not, that's why "back" buttons were invented.)
For the second year in a row I've decided to participate in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) contest. For those of you who don't know, the purpose of the contest is to write 50,000 words of a novel during November. While 50,000 words don't a novel make — they are barely a novella these days — they do represent a good start on a manuscript.
The organizers wanted a word count both challenging and reasonably obtainable. For people like me who are able to devote a whole day to writing the challenge isn't quite as extreme as it is for those who have other responsibilities like employment and rearing children, but still it represents a meaningful output of creative energy.
The problem that I experienced last year was that I had become so focused on the event and producing as many words as possible in November, that even though I finished the month with two-thirds of a first draft completed, around 80,000 words, it took me to nearly February to finish the final third. I had concentrated so much energy on the November deadline that once it passed I lost a great deal of my motivation for the project.