Life is like a grapefruit

What I need right now, is another project

I often have many things on the go. Most of the projects have the same life-cycle: I start incredibly enthusiastic, solve the main ‘problem’ involved in the project, and then get bored before completing it.

I’ve tried recently to break this cycle and I keep telling myself that the reason I’m not finishing the One Great Project I’m meant to be focusing on is the move. See other posts for more on that.

I don’t believe it either.

So I have been looking for a way to work on a project with a deadline that is imposed by someone else. I tried getting my better half to work with me on the One Great Project as a way to pressure me, but she has her own projects and doesn’t see a need for a deadline. Also, I’m not sure that it’s wise to be held to a deadline by someone you live with. Mixing family and business, etc.

I’d vaguely been aware of NaNoWriMo for a few years, but it was this post on Neil Gaiman’s blog that started me digging. Writing a novel is something that I’ve always though I would try at some point, and I believe everyone should at least try. It has a fixed deadline of one month, and a clear goal to acheive.

As I thought more about it, I realised something else about my approach to previous projects: While I believe that planning is a good thing, I can now see that I overplan my projects as I start them. While looking for a solution to step 3, I’m already considering the impact to steps 9, 10 and 11. The conclusion to this is that I never actually start step 3 as I’m at a mental block worrying about every little implication of every little decision I might make. What I need, at least in my personal projects, is to learn to solve step 3, maybe consider step 4, and deal with all the impacts when I have to, not now.

That’s the complete focus of NaNoWriMo. To attempt to write a (admittedly short) novel in such a length of time that the author is forced to move on with the story and not think too hard about it.

I shall be updating here as my word count grows, and as I struggle towards the final goal. I don’t know how much time I’ll have before the move, but I believe the cross-pacific flight should give me some time to write something.

Posted on 2008/10/28 in personal | Tagged NaNoWriMo | Leave a comment

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