Full speed ahead

In September, the leaves changed. In October, they fell.

This month has been a tough one for me and my family, and I’m ready for November. (Who is ever ready for November?) But it’s true. It’s time to take those leaves and turn them over.

When the time comes to get things done, there’s a temptation to do them quickly. It’s very attractive to opt for a quick fix. Take weight loss. You want to lose 10 lbs. (Damn you, mini chocolate bars.) You could just re-adjust your lifestyle and lose a little weight in a slow and sustainable way. Or, you could cleanse and fast and remove a limb. As someone who knows what would work for my body (slow and sustainable) and what wouldn’t (voluntary amputation), in this case I can avoid the temptation of quick fix.

This is not the case for me when it comes to writing, however. When it comes to writing, I need the dramatic. The deadline. The ultimatum. I rely on it. I rely on the ticking tock of the last few minutes of the final hours to hit submit. I have no accountability otherwise. Amazingly, I can say to myself, “Shannon, dear, you can put down the bite-size Kit Kat. You’ve had 37. They all taste the same.” But a writing task that’s self-imposed? Impossible. Who is there to enforce? Who is there to keep me accountable?

Well, this month, I’m appointing someone. Me. (My husband was a close second, but I decided this was too much pressure on our relationship. Like the time I told him to hide the box of Halloween candy from me, it could only end in disaster.) I have some exciting things happening in the New Year (more on this later) but I can’t wait until January to pick things up.

One way to jump in feet first is to sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). If you follow any writers, publishers or agents on Twitter, its buzz is inescapable. I have no experience with NaNoWriMo, but I’m intrigued. And maybe an intense, unrealistic, destined-to-fail, writing-equivalent-of-a-juice-cleanse is the perfect way to turn over a new leaf.

Yep. I think I’ll sign up. Right after I finish this Kit Kat.

(Hey, there’s still a week left of October. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)

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