Monday, May 7, 2012

Blog Me MAYBe: MAY I tell you something about writing?

Hello all!  Welcome to those of you stopping by from the Blog Me MAYbe blogfest!  Today's theme is:

MAY I tell you something about writing?

At the beginning of this blogfest, I thought, "Maybe I'll quietly sit out Mondays and hope no one notices."

And then grading and the end of the marking period hit, and I quietly sat out last Thursday and Friday.

Now, part of what attracted me to the BMM fest was its easy-going nature:

And if posting every day sounds like too much, or if you miss a few days, or only do a couple posts a week, who cares, yanno?
--Sara McClung's intro to BMM
But that was also part of what scared me.   (Here's where I start telling you something about writing.)

I love deadlines.  Love them.  They're also my enemy, because part of who I am at my core is Someone Who Does Not Miss Deadlines.  I procrastinate, yes, lots, all the time--but I have become the MASTER of procrastinating.  Because I Do Not Miss Deadlines.

So, when I decided to start writing, as a fun thing I could do for me, and as something I could do as a good model for my students, I tried NaNoWriMo.  I thought that would be good for me, because it's nothing but deadlines.  The problem: no one is watching. 

 Long story short: I have the first ten or fifteen pages of two novels that I want to work on...and they petered out.  I mean, I'm really busy with work, right?  Yeah, that's it.

Then I signed up for a TV writing class online (through Gotham Writer's Workshop--I enjoyed it, and they have a lot of different types of writing classes, so check it out if that's your thing) and somehow found the time to read the lectures, do the homework, submit my pages, and do my critiques every single week, by the deadline, including the week of our school production of Annie that I was directing.

What's the difference?  DEADLINES.  Someone else was expecting my work at a certain time.  So I delivered.

So, friends, I have a confession to make.  My name is Mrs. S, and I am a writing poser.  A fake.  A phony.  I've seen a lot of advice along the lines of JUST WRITE THE BOOK, and I've been blowing it on that front.

But I can change--and I think I will, now that I've figured this out.  I do plan to take more classes, but I'd also love to set up something informal with some of you, if anyone else works this way.  I'm not proposing anything as intense or formal as becoming CPs, because clearly, I'm not there yet.  More like a deadline mafia--everybody's got each other's back but also looks out to make sure that things are getting done the way they're supposed to.  You could set your own goals and deadlines, but when they roll around, you have to get the pages in.

Does anyone else work like that?  Want to set up a deadline mafia?  Have you done anything like that in the past--and how has it worked?


  1. I too, am deadline driven! I love the pressure of the finish line just around the corner, as nothing makes me try harder. Although, NaNo for me, is a huge motivator - and when my writer's block hits, as it does every September/October, I look forward to NaNo to pull me through!
    I'd love to hear more about this deadline mafia idea, as I'm in the process of a major revision with an agent, yet am having a difficult time cranking through!
    Great post - thanks for sharing!

    1. I think next year I may try to throw myself more fully into the social aspects of NaNo--peer pressure is a great motivator!


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