Finish writing "Renegade."
It's a novella. I started it in August, but hadn't gotten very far. (I took some time off to revise my novel.) So, this is going to be quite a stretch for me. I figure, if it turns out about the same length as my other novellas, I will need to write 100 pages or more by the end of the month, or approximately four pages per day . Now for me, that is a lot of writing. More than I think I've ever written in a month. But I wanted to try and stretch myself.
A week into the challenge, I am happy to report that it is going well. I have hit four pages on all but two days. Yeah! I'm very pleased. I hope I can keep up the momentum. I have noticed some things I need to help me meet this challenge of mine.
Time: Duh. I guess that goes without saying. But I am finding that I don't actually need to make more time to write. I just need to take better advantage of the time that I already have to write. I find I can get the most done from 10-11:30 in the morning and from 10-11:30 in the evening. Also sometimes in the afternoon too. To make the best use of time, I need:
Sleep: I am finding that a good night's sleep gives me better results than staying up late to write a little more.
Planning: I have to know where the story is going. I used to think I was a pantser. That I didn't want or need an outline. I have realized lately, though, that I'm just a lazy plotter. I have to know what scenes to write and more or less how they turn out before I sit down to write. Yes, I still surprise myself sometimes with what the characters do or say, but in order to write so fast (for me), I really need a clear picture in my head. And it is in my head. I don't actually write an outline. I daydream a lot. This week has been a great exercise in deciding more quickly how the scenes should play out.
Support: My husband agreed to help me meet the challenge by encouraging me and not complaining if I put writing ahead of other things. I also appreciate the support I get from being accountable on Tristi's blog. I've been tweeting and facebooking about it too. Cheerleaders are great!
Serenity: I can't write well if I'm not on an even keel, so I've been taking the time to nurture my emotional health every day, too.
Sunflower Seeds: Lots and lots of sunflower seeds. My writing snack of choice.
I know a lot of you do NaNoWriMo. What kind of things do you find you need to help you meet a real writing challenge?