Ch-ch-ch-challenges

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 in Blather | 26 comments

365.100 (Aargh)
365.100 (Aargh), originally uploaded by kpwerker.

I’ve failed my 365-self-portraits challenge, but I’ve decided that, as the agent of my own destiny, I’m going to own my missed days (I missed more than just my 100th day), and soldier on. I’ve been suffering creatively, and I was aware that I was blowing the challenge each day I didn’t take a photo. It’s not like I forgot. I also fell about six weeks behind in posting photos to Flickr, but I’m now all caught up.

Part of my motivation to get all my photo-posting under control is that I’ve committed myself to yet another creative challenge ā€” one I’m sure I’ll fail. But I’m not doing it to win. I’m doing it because I just really, really want to.

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

Starting tomorrow, I’ll participate in NaNoWriMo. Never have I attempted to write prose fiction. Never have I aspired to write a novel. But I have the tiniest of tiny ideas, and I want to kick myself out of this creative rut I’ve been stuck in, and so in the month of November I, along with tens of thousands of other writers, will attempt to write a 50K-word “novel”. I use virtual air quotes there because it’s not like writing 50K words in thirty days will result in anything worth reading. What I’m aiming for is to commit myself to spend time seeing if my tiniest of tiny ideas will be fun to explore and expand.

I know I’m doomed to fail not because I’m being hard on myself for missing a few days on my portrait challenge, nor because I don’t think I could do it, but mostly because we go to press in the middle of the month and that means I’ll be in Colorado for a week, living in a hotel, not getting enough sleep, and suffering a headache and bloody nose from the altitude. So maybe I should adjust my goal by 25% and consider myself a quasi-winner if I make it to 37.5K words.

No matter my final word count, I’m very much looking forward to it. You can keep track of my progress here*. Let the insanity begin!

* The NaNoWriMo site is down at the time I’m posting this. It’s a Drupal site, and it’s run slowly for the last few days. (I mention the Drupal bit because I’m intimately familiar with the speed challenges Drupal can present.)

  • http://smartgrrrl.tumblr.com smartgrrrl

    I feel both your pain viz the creative block, and the monolithic challenge of NaNo. I will consider myself successful if I double the number of words I spewed out last year, which means my personal goal is only 6K. This year I have buddies, though, and that may make all the difference.

  • http://www.penguingirl.com penny

    Go Kim! I've done similar with my woah I missed my “post photos of my workspace for 365″ too and I'll just post as I can and try to keep up. I “won” nanowrimo a few times (I type fast and if it went more stream-of-conscious than normal, I went with it), but it's nothing I'd ever want to have anyone read. it's the exercise and challenge in writing every day for thirty that I enjoy. We'll see what happens this year.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker

    I am quite psyched about the buddies!

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker

    I do have this romantic image in my head of, like, retiring to my hotel room
    and forcing myself to write for an hour before passing out. We'll see…

  • http://trueepicure.com Eva

    I'm going to try to do NaBloPoMo this year. I'll be thinking of you as I'm writing my blog posts.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker

    Good luck!

  • Dee

    Random question, but where/how did you make your avatar?
    P.S. Good luck on the “novel”–I'm sure it'll be great.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker
  • marikka

    When I did NaNoWriMo, I had romantic visions of doing an Edith Wharton recommended activity and writing every morning before going to work. That lasted three days and then I slept in. And even though I “won” that year, there was nothing romantic about it.

  • http://www.pureandstrange.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Good luck with NaNo! One thing that I found pathetically motivating when I did it last year was to print out a calendar of the month and put a sticker on every day that I met the word count. I hung it up next to my desk at work, so all of my co-workers would know how I was doing. There were at least a couple of days when the thought of not being able to put up a sticker the next day kept my ass in the chair.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker

    What a great idea! Maybe I'll put something here on the blog, since I don't have officemates to push me along.

  • http://www.thehookandi.com Amy

    It's nice that you have the tiniest of ideas, because with less than 24 hours to go before the start, I still don't have an idea…

  • http://www.kimwerker.com kpwerker

    Yikes!

    My tiniest of ideas is actually pretty big, but it doesn't involve characters yet, like, at all. And so I have no idea where or how to start, as a universe is a far cry from a story.

    It'll be great fun, and hopefully astoundingly rewarding, to do it all together, eh?

  • http://smartgrrrl.tumblr.com Michelle

    I feel both your pain viz the creative block, and the monolithic challenge of NaNo. I will consider myself successful if I double the number of words I spewed out last year, which means my personal goal is only 6K. This year I have buddies, though, and that may make all the difference.

  • http://www.penguingirl.com penny

    Go Kim! I've done similar with my woah I missed my “post photos of my workspace for 365″ too and I'll just post as I can and try to keep up. I “won” nanowrimo a few times (I type fast and if it went more stream-of-conscious than normal, I went with it), but it's nothing I'd ever want to have anyone read. it's the exercise and challenge in writing every day for thirty that I enjoy. We'll see what happens this year.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker

    I am quite psyched about the buddies!

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker

    I do have this romantic image in my head of, like, retiring to my hotel room
    and forcing myself to write for an hour before passing out. We'll see…

  • http://trueepicure.com Eva

    I'm going to try to do NaBloPoMo this year. I'll be thinking of you as I'm writing my blog posts.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker

    Good luck!

  • Dee

    Random question, but where/how did you make your avatar?
    P.S. Good luck on the “novel”–I'm sure it'll be great.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker
  • marikka

    When I did NaNoWriMo, I had romantic visions of doing an Edith Wharton recommended activity and writing every morning before going to work. That lasted three days and then I slept in. And even though I “won” that year, there was nothing romantic about it.

  • http://www.pureandstrange.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Good luck with NaNo! One thing that I found pathetically motivating when I did it last year was to print out a calendar of the month and put a sticker on every day that I met the word count. I hung it up next to my desk at work, so all of my co-workers would know how I was doing. There were at least a couple of days when the thought of not being able to put up a sticker the next day kept my ass in the chair.

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker

    What a great idea! Maybe I'll put something here on the blog, since I don't have officemates to push me along.

  • http://www.thehookandi.com Amy

    It's nice that you have the tiniest of ideas, because with less than 24 hours to go before the start, I still don't have an idea…

  • http://www.kimwerker.com Kim Werker

    Yikes!

    My tiniest of ideas is actually pretty big, but it doesn't involve characters yet, like, at all. And so I have no idea where or how to start, as a universe is a far cry from a story.

    It'll be great fun, and hopefully astoundingly rewarding, to do it all together, eh?

  • Pingback: NaKniSweMo speed demon! — knitgrrl()