Maybe it's my slightly anal-retentive nature or the adrenaline rush I get whenever one's on the horizon, but I've always loved deadlines. And no, not "the sound of them whooshing on by" that's referenced in one of my favorite movies, Julie & Julia.
In fact, one of my favorite things about college that didn't involve working on the school newspaper or late-night pizza with friends was the first day of class when the professor passed out the syllabus. For whatever reason, I loved those flipping through those perfect white pages just so I could carefully write the assignments (and when they were due, naturally) in my beloved dayplanner.
Even in the era of SmartPhones and iCal, both fabulous inventions in their own right, I still buy a regular ol' dayplanner every year—usually with some exotic European city on the cover. After all, why opt for the boring Franklin Covey when you can dream a little while staring at pictures of London, Paris or Rome?
Yeah, that's pure deadline bliss.
So now that my love of deadlines has been firmly established (not to mention my utter geekdom in the process), it's probably no big surprise that something like NaNoWriMo is right up my alley.
For the unacquainted, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, something that happens each and every November. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (on a side note, I absolutely can't wait for Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol...I think the trailer looks so good), is to write 50,000 words, essentially, a decent-sized first draft, in a month's time.
Yeah, as someone who's written two novels already, lemme just say, that's rather ambitious.
But after having my first two novels published in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and taking my sweet time to decide what to write about the third time around, I think I'm up for the challenge—even if I'm not doing it exactly how the NaNoWriMo folks envisioned it.
See, I'm cheating a little because I'm not actually starting from scratch. I have a decent-ish start on my third novel already, but I want to jumpstart my word count in a serious way, so I'm using the month of November to do just that. It'll be like NaNoWriMo, but with a method to the madness. Or I hope so, anyway.
In any case, it gives me a deadline, and not just a pretend one that I can ignore if I'm distracted by something else, like the stack of delicious new novels practically begging to be read in my office or the latest episode of Two Broke Girls.
Updates TK, I promise. You know, when I'm not chipping away at that 50k...