Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rise to the challenge

This morning, bright and early (despite it being my day off work) I'm up and moving.  Trying to wake up some and am jumping into the page.  Part of why I'm here, I guess.  Anyway, I popped over to the NaNoWriMo website this morning and found a pep talk.  I know some of you will have read it, and others won't read any of your messages over there unless they're personal.  In any case, today I read it and this was worth noting:

I got up every morning before work (the alarm was set for 4:30) and wrote two pages before I went into the warehouse. And then, when I arrived at work at 7:00 to punch the time clock, I received my daily so-you-want-to-be-a-writer pep talk from a coworker.
Let's call him Bob. (Even though his real name is Gary).
Bob wanted to be a writer, too. But he wasn't writing. Every morning we had the same exchange.
Bob: "How did the writing go?"
Me: "Fine."
Bob: "How many pages did you write?"
Me: "Two."
Bob: "Do you think Dickens wrote two pages a day?"
Me: "I don't know how many pages Dickens wrote a day."
Bob: "Yeah, well let me tell you something, you're no Dickens. So what's Plan B, babe? What's Plan B for when the writing doesn't work out?"
For this question, I had no answer.
I turned my back on Bob, pulse pounding, fists clenched, and climbed the stairs to the third floor and started picking books.
When the alarm went off at 4:30 the next morning, I thought about Bob and that is part of the reason I got out of bed.
It is a truly excellent to have someone to believe in you and your ability to write.
But I think it is just as helpful to have people who don't believe in you, people who mock you, people who doubt you, people who enrage you. Fortunately, there is never a shortage of this type of person in the world.
So as you enter this month of writing, write for yourself. Write for the story. And write, also, for all of the people who doubt you. Write for all of those people who are not brave enough to try to do this grand and wondrous thing themselves. Let them motivate you.
In other words, do it for Bob!
Your friend in writing,  
Kate DiCamillo

You have a Bob in your life.  I know I do.  I have plenty.  People who look at me like I have three heads when I say "this is my day job, I write too."

Now, I'm a little different from Kate, here, because I am not sure I will ever be full time with the writing.  I might try for it in the future if things line up, I suppose, but my day job provides nice steady income, insurance, and distraction with PAID people-watching time.  That is pretty sweet.  And I'm able to keep myself part time, working while my kids are in school.  So that's also pretty sweet.

I have writing time if I get up early, after work before kids get out of school, and in the afternoon/evening while they do homework and after bedtime.  Right now, my goal is to write SOMETHING every day.  Maybe I should set a two page goal.  I know when I set a goal for myself and I don't reach it, I make myself angry.  Because I'm absolutely capable of that goal I set.

NaNo, for example.  This year, like last, I'm not allowing myself to be UNDER the daily goal at all.  I try and write ahead so if a day is busy (like yesterday), I don't have to stress myself out too much to meet it.  I'm close for yesterday's goal, so I will write ahead today.

Anyway, Bob, you suck.  But you also make us strive to do better.  To do more.  So, thank you, Bob.  I like a challenge.  ;)

So!  What spurs you on more?  Positive reinforcement, or a nay-sayers?  Have you grown your thick writer skin yet?  ;)

(Don't really feel all that more awake, and I bet my rambling kinda shows that...  time to set the coffee maker.)

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