I'm writing this for all of us who struggle to find time to write. There are many time management books and there are books on how to get your priorities straight. On this Blog, I've shared the suggestion of Baby Steps to squeak out a few pages of writing in between a plethora of other tasks. (I just LOVE that word. "Plethora". Has such a wonderful feel on the tongue. Makes me think of geese winging south in a plethora of sqwaking. Which they are doing right now, by the way, and landing in my backyard...What? Oh, Right. Writing time.) You can see how time slips away when you're having fun or when you haven't made writing a priority or when you're watching geese.
Ta-Da! Enter Book-in-a-Month! Take the plunge. Stop having nervous frets over the fact that you still haven't finished that last scene. Push everything else to the fringe and write the draft of your next novel in 30 days. 30 Days! Wow!
Now, this exercise comes in a couple of forms. First, November is National Novel Writing Month. This comes with a web site, online support groups, a daily list of activities to complete and your own goals--number of pages or words per day, finish the outline, etc. Like Boot Camp. In a Chair. On your favorite search engine, type in "BIAM" or "book in a week" or "BIAW" and you'll find other groups to cheer you on this path.
I'm taking the non-online (is that a word? Not near as nice as "plethora") path. I purchased the book Book in a Month: the fool-proof system for writing a novel in 30 days by Victoria Lynn Schmidt. This is a sturdy book with places to take notes, step-by-step instructions ("Write 10 Scene Cards Today", "Brainstorm Characters") and lots of cheering. She takes you through the whole process methodically and steadily until you've completed a first draft.
She suggests adapting the process if you'd like. With my current life, carving out 30 days is just not going to happen. But four devoted hours every Saturday morning with bits and pieces through the week? That I can do. So I'm using Book in a Month to guide me, to give me a portable place to take notes, to make a commitment to regular writing and to keep my subconscious working on whatever writing activity is on the schedule. So far, I'm loving it.
I may not get the draft done in 30 days, but 30 Saturdays? Sure. It beats not writing at all. And I know once I've gotten deeper into my characters and plot, I'll make more time. I won't be able to help myself. I'll let you know how it's going next month.
Have any of you used a BIAM technique? How'd it go? Any of you ready to take the plunge?