I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, but I keep forgetting.
I respond well to challenges. I’m a competitive person by nature, and I like to win. That’s one of the reasons that I keep upping my goals for NaNo ever year (though 2010 will have to be something different, because I don’t feel it’s humanly possible for me to go past the million mark). The problem is, November only happens once a year. See the problems discussed in Inaction to see why once a year writing contests, in my present unemployed state, do little for me in terms of the rest of the year.
So, I present – milwordy. It doesn’t have anything like near the number of participants in NaNo (only a couple of dozen), and many of them started on different dates. But in general, the goal is to write a million words in 365 consecutive days. Going in, I thought that that sounded pretty easy for someone who spent all of November writing several tens of thousands of words a day. I decided to join on March 1st, but decided to give myself an additional challenge, given that it didn’t seem difficult enough for me: I’d backdate it to January 1st, so I’d start more than 2 months behind in my words. And it’s harder than I thought. I’m catching up on the lost words, but only slowly.
Nevertheless, it’s got me writing again, and writing useful things like my draft of Burning Eden. I have every confidence that I’ll catch up by mid-summer at the latest. I’m also hashing out a short story. There are some fun, non-publishable-in-their-current-state pieces of writing as well, but I plan to start another serious novel as soon as I finish the draft of Burning Eden. Keeping the momentum going is key.
The moral of my story: at least for me, it’s nice to have set goals and at least some competition. And despite that, most of last week I didn’t even come close to the 2800-minimum. No one’s perfect, after all.
(Disclaimer: Yes. Fully aware of the fact that producing masses of words does not make them publishable.)