Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Books... or How to Procrastinate Writing Your Own

This year for the third time, I'm attempting NaNoWriMo. The first year, 2004, I did it and ended up with a memoir that is, in part, posted now on my other blog. That was a good one. Not good as in, what an excellent memoir, my God woman you should be a best-seller. But good as in, I completed the 50,000 word mark (and then some) and came away with something I was not ashamed of, in fact I was sorta kinda pleased with the whole thing.

The second year I started out great - until somewhere around the 1000 word mark. Yeah. Not so great after all. I lost steam and let the whole endeavor go. Just wasn't gonna happen that year. The following year I bailed altogether writing something like 275 words which let's face it, if you've ever gotten one of my kooky emails you'll know is barely a quick hello, let alone a novel.

This year I'm at it again and I'm very close to the 10,000 word point which is really good in that it means I have slightly more than 22 pages, which is a nice chunk and encourages me to keep it up, and I'm writing fiction this time and it seems to be working.

OF course the fact that I'm writing here indicates that I'm being lazy right about now and falling far behind on the suggested word count of 1,667 per day. That's the average you need to do to achieve 50,000 in the month. It's not bad if you keep up with it, but get behind by even a day and WHAMMO you are seriously behind.

Hello. Meet my serious behind.

What a wonderful tool for writerly procrastination is a blog! You are writing. So nobody can tell you you aren't - ta-da! - here's the proof! But you are still managing to while away the time NOT writing the novel you are so in love with.

Other fun ways to procrastinate include:

1. Bake massive amounts of vegan cupcakes. Yup. Check.

2. Experiment making new bean soups at 8 a.m. Yup. Check.

3. Laundry! An old standby and a great way to avoid things you really want to get done. Yup. Check.

Another great way to procrastinate working on your own novel is to read someone else's book. If you have borrowed it from the library and cannot renew it because it is in such demand, this gives you even greater leverage in terms of procrastination. I MUST finish this book - it's due Tuesday and I do not want to have to pay a fine.

Listen, don't scoff - you all know that when putting off doing something ALL logic works even wacky library logic.

I finished the book I was using to avoid my novel, Eat, Pray, Love. I make an effort to read at least one best-seller a year just so I can say I'm on top of what's going on in the world. A lot of times the book of choice is not something you'd care to discuss. More like eating Cap'n'Crunch for dinner than fine dining at Rosa Mexicano. But this Eat, Pray, Love book was fabulous! Recommended by Bella, the bold and beautiful. It's all spiritual journey this, finding yourself that and it coincides nicely with my own take on spirituality and the journey towards finding peace and happiness. I love that. Nice to know you're not the only one. Plus, it's funny. You know there really isn't enough laughter when it comes to religion and spirituality and that is a shame. If your religion doesn't allow for joy (sorry) and laughter then you might want to think about shaking things up. Same for sex. Sorry, but if you can't get the giggles with someone you're having sex with, then you might not be having all the fun you could be.

Oh look, two more ways to procrastinate. Pray. Have sex.

Or maybe what I really ought to do is pray I can write some sex into my novel and have myself a giggle.


I just talked myself out of the procrastination. Awesome!

BTW the word count on this post is 702... I wish this counted towards my novel.


Jay said...

It's good to have goals, and sometimes writing means forcing yourself, but it should also mean a certain amount of forgiveness.

BetteJo said...

Made ME smile!
Sometimes you just have to talk your way through it and you're energized again.
Go for it!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Great post!

I'm not even doing NaNoWriMo and I'm procrastinating.

Good luck Joy!

kimy said...

to quote annie 'word by word' xx

Bella said...

I'm so glad you finished Eat Pray Love and enjoyed it! It's really a book that so many people (women especially) can relate to. Good for you for attempting NaNoWriMo. I can't wait to read what you develop.

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

NaNoWriMo sounds like some realtor's new dissecting of of TriBeCa or WeHo or SOMA to give cred to some previously undiscovered, underpriced section of the city. We should talk about our mutual writing groups at some point.

Gary said...

Well, it has been a week since you last posted so I hope that means you are doing well with the NaNo Writing. Or does it mean that you have a sparkling clean apartment, have worked out every day, tried new recipes, did the laundry, walked in the park with Basil, shopped for new dishes, read several books, chatted with friends, watched season three of That Girl....

Joy Keaton said...

You know Gary, you may think that's funny but you know as well as I that sometimes we HAVE to clean... and cook... and do laundry... and catch up with friends... and read and YES, sometimes we are compelled take time to watch That Girl.

(I've also gotten some writing done - which shocks me beyond the telling of it)

CrankMama said...

Congratulations on even attempting NaNoWriMo! That sounds like a HUGE commitment.

And thanks for the procrastination tips...I can always use more of those. Make a library book a top priority you say? I'm with you in luvin' Eat, Pray, Love. Fabulous book, that. Now what else is due this week?