WriMos have more in common than, well… just being WriMos.
Regardless of whether writing goals are met in the first ten days; metered out over the month, or never met, challenge participants have to do more than simply write.
We have lives to live.
Work or school, spouses, partners, and children, health issues and caregiver responsibilities, and yes, even pets require our time and attention. As much as we may want to bury our heads in our WIPs… it ain’t happening.
NaNo organizers send out the first emails early telling WriMos to get organized and find the best writing tools… and snacks.
We’re told to clear our calendars of all major distractions, send our inner editors on vacation… or lock them in the proverbial closet, and get ready to write, sprint, write!
Because it’s just that easy… only not.
July and November have the distinction of including two major U.S. holidays—Independence Day and Thanksgiving—and even in years when Easter Sunday occurs in March, everyone from pre-schoolers to PhD candidates will celebrate the one-week-to ten-day break from studies in the U.S. known as Spring Break at some point during the month of April.
But NaNoWriMo is a global event.
So while some WriMos may not be concerned with cookouts, roasted turkeys, or trying to get to the nearest beach or amusement park, they’re still living lives which come with a laundry list of things which can pull them away from writing.
Water heaters break. Cars won’t start. Children need their parents. Out-of-town guests show up unexpectedly. Friends extend dinner invites. Writers get sick.
Life will get its time, one way or another.
And don’t we want it to? Isn’t that what being a writer is all about? Doesn’t the total sum of our experiences make us who we are?
True distractions? Maybe. Necessary? Definitely.
What are we writing about if we’re not living? How can we create our best work if our minds are only focused on creating our best work?
There’s a quote which says all a writer needs to do is sit down and write. However, before you can write, you need to live.
Our two oldest are in town for the rest of the week. We’ve already decided no one is standing out in one-hundred-and-five-degree heat just to flip burgers, but their list of movies to watch is massive and full of action movies… my weakness. Thank God I’m already over word count because I’m going to be distracted by family movie time… and the jokes, stories, food and laughter that go along with it.
I hope you’re distracted this month too.
Let’s be clear here—four hours on Twitter or three hours playing Call of Duty is not a distraction, it’s procrastination and you should be writing! 😀