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Countdown to Grapemo

We have less than 48 hours till the start of GRAPEMO--hurray! If anyone still wants to join us for a month of non-stop writing/editing/revising or whatever it is you need to accomplish, let me know in the comment section of this box (along with your personal writing goal) or send me an email or private message.

I know how hard it is for some of you to find time to write, what with jobs and school and families and other obligations. Trust me, I’ve been there. In fact, I’m STILL there. I work 32+ hours a week, and often, on my days off, all I want to do is veg out. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking "I'm tired" or “I’m not in the mood” or “I have nothing to work on” or—worst of all—“What’s the point?”

The point is, we are writers—and we are only truly and completely happen when we’re WRITING. Some of us have families who understand this. Some of us may not. In the latter case, it’s a struggle to balance that fine line between making yourself happy and alienating those you love. If you’re lucky enough to be able to write full-time, you usually have the luxury of writing at your convenience. Others have to sneak in an hour here, an hour there; write when the kids are in school, or asleep, or zoning out in front the kind of movies you swore you’d never let them watch; type away with a baby on your lap; stay up late after your spouse falls asleep; beg family members to cover you for dinner or send out for a pizza; sneak off to a café after work for an uninterrupted hour or two; set your alarm an hour early to write before dawn; scribble long-hand on a legal pad; write during study hall or lunch break, or heck, even during class, etc. I think all of us have done this. I swear I've done them all. :-)

When I’m seriously working on a manuscript, I pretty much give up any kind of social life. I’ve been known to miss parties and family gatherings, or only make a brief appearance. I make a point not to turn on the TV or the radio, and I let the machine pick up the telephone calls. I've worked this way long before I was published. Why?

Because if you want to be a writer, you have to think of writing as a JOB. Without some kind of structure, even if it’s not a set schedule, it’s extremely hard to get anything done. You can’t afford wait till you’re in the mood. You can’t wait for inspiration. If I waited till I was “in the mood” to go to my real job, I'd be living in a refrigerator box under a bridge. Seriously. Because I wouldn't go.

Most of you already have your PWGs for the month. It’s now up to you to take advantage of every spare moment you have to get the job done. Cleaning can wait. No one likes to live in a pigsty--though I have to admit my family has adapted to this quite well--but neither should you be dusting and vacuuming and farting around ironing your husband's boxer when YOU, as a writer, should be WRITING, period. Your life will not fall apart if you don’t scrub that floor or clean out that garage or mow the lawn during that one hour you have free because that time could be spent hammering out your story.

Don't believe for one minute that, because you've never been published, your writing is not important, that doesn't count--and do NOT let anyone else, no matter how much you love them, tell you that, either. Your writing counts. Your writing is part of YOU.

Today, decide what your priorities are. Of course you don’t want to miss your best friend’s wedding or your child’s school function—but you don’t have to read that particular book right now or watch that particular show. You may have to go to work, but you don’t have to go out drinking afterward. You may have to go to school, but you don't have hang out with your friends every night. If you're addicted to the internet, either learn to exercise some self-control (I'm stamping that on my own forehead) or, if you have a laptop, find a place to write with no internet access. If such a place exists.

Writing itself is often the easy part; it’s finding the time and the place to write that often causes the most grief. Though GRAPEMO lasts a month, it’s a short month—and it’s a month of writing you won’t get back if you don’t take advantage of it in every possible way.


Now, take some time now and make your plans. When will you write? How will you write—in hours-long marathons or in short, frequent spurts? How will you say no when someone demands your attention when you know fully well they don’t need your attention, they simply want it because they see you doing something else? How will you the tell difference between the must-dos and the can-waits?

Motto for GRAPEMO 2012: ME FIRST. For twenty-eight days, you absolutely deserve this!!!



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
Cobie hates to be ironed anyway. Maybe because he's only one quarter boxer...
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
I don't even own an iron. What does THAT say?
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Me either. I refuse to allow one in the house.
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
That, and anything that needs to be dry cleaned, yes?
Jan. 30th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
Or anything that has to be hand washed, or laid flat or line dried.
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
The only hand washing I do is...hand-washing, lol.
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
I love this!

Do we get the extra day for leap year?

if you have a laptop, find a place to write with no internet access. If such a place exists.

Seriously! Burger King used to be my safe haven but now even they have a big "FREE WIFI" sign on the door.
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
YES, we get the extra day! :-)

Same here with McD's lol.
Jan. 30th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
I agree with you 100%! It may be hard to find the time to write, but that time does exist, so we have to make sure we take advantage of it whenever we can, even when abandoned by inspiration and nagged at by life.

Still need to figure out my PWG...eep. Time to work on that!
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
Got it, thanks!
Kim Van Sickler
Jan. 30th, 2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Yay! I started today.
I'm not waiting until Wednesday. Got a jump on GrapeMo today. Feels great. Getting those first few pages down on paper is the hardest part.
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay! I started today.
"I'm not waiting until Wednesday."

I don't blame you! If I didn't have to work tonight, I'd do the same.
Jan. 30th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, ma'am. I'll work on editing my NaNo story which hasn't been touched since I finished and collapsed in a heap in November.

Jan. 31st, 2012 02:27 pm (UTC)
At least you DID NaNo. I gave up, like, a minute into it, lol. At least it feels that way.
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
And you are ADDED! ;)
Jan. 31st, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
Um, there are 29 days in Feb this year! and I'm in! i'll send you my PWG via e-mail.
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, better late than never to find this out. YAY, right?
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
PS Thanks for joining in!
Jan. 31st, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for accepting my application! ;p
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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