So, I’m not just an editor, business person, nine-to-five day-jobber, and all around freak. I’m a writer.
I sort of covered that with the “freak” bit didn’t I?
Well, before I ever heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month. AKA November) I was busy doing the 3-Day Novel challenge from Anvil Press.
Over the years, I stopped paying the reading fee and sending in the manuscripts, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing the 3-Days. In fact, my first book that’s coming out in October, started its life as a three day.
Insane? Yes. Yes, it is. Do I think it’s worth it? Again, yes.
I work well under pressure and the 3-Day challenge is definitely pressure. Granted, this year I only did about half a novel (12 chapters of what should be around 24-30). That’s not what matters. What matters is, I made time for myself to do nothing but write.
Writing is the one constant for me. I finished my first four novels in high school. They will never see the light of day. Since then, I’ve generally written at least one novel a year and I will not disclose how many that brings me up to right now. Some of them are great. Some of them are… shall we say unpolished? The three day promises me that I won’t get out of the habit of doing something long and challenging. I won’t endlessly rewrite trunk novels until they resemble something vaguely good. I will produce something new.
Something that isn’t a blog post. Or flash fiction. Or advertising copy.
All writing is important, but for me, creating something completely new with nothing more than a vague idea and a few characters and seeing it come to life on the page. Arguing with the characters. Creating new ones. Throwing them into situations and challenging them with bad guys and panic and disabilities to see what happens? Priceless.
So, every Labor Day, I get a room to myself. Maybe I challenge few friends on-line or do some sprints, but basically, I spend three days doing nothing but writing.
And I love it.
Even when I don’t finish 70K the way I used to. (CT is evil alien pond scum.)
So, this is my weird and unsolicited advice: Find a way to challenge yourself to make something new. Don’t rest on your laurels and trunk supplies. You never know what you might find.
Like an entirely new series of books.