It's November and since I can't grow facial hair for Movember I'm left with the terrifying option to write a novel in a mere 30 days. I've made the decision not to jump off the cliff because I feel like the picture below from job overload (I have 4 paying jobs, a common twenty-something New Yorker problem):
But I do want to talk the joy of having a deadline and of having some pressure and accountability. A dance teacher once told me that pressure was a privilege and now that I'm done with college (for now) I understand her more clearly.
As a writer, as a performing artist, as a human being--you have to set goals for yourself, else you stay stagnant. The pressure of setting a timestamp on a goal can often propel you to dig to depths you never knew were there in efforts to finish "on time". Yes, there's a certain amount of self-induced stressed that can come with that, but accomplishment just feels too good to label this as negative.
But what about accountability? This was the beauty of being in school--I had outside forces that directly affected me and my goals if I didn't achieve the deadline. In my main day job, there's the threat of reprimand for not completing tasks. How do you get a more positive version in real life? Find yourself an accountability partner, someone to bitch to over the phone and to also remind you that you have 4 hours and 23 minutes to finish a draft of that sci-fi dream you had the other night and wanted to share with the world via short story.
National Novel Writing Month is just that. It offers a community of professional and amateur writers the opportunity to be accountable for each other. It's a unique support system that has a wonderful result: you've created a novel.
So while I have to abstain to keep my own stress and anxiety levels down, if you can, if you're teetering on maybe, do it. Take the leap and even if you don't finish, you'll have started something and that's beautiful.
To get in on the action, click here, it's most certainly not too late.