Getting the competitive juices…flowing?
Yea, that’s October for you. The juicing time. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and also home to the November PAD Chapbook Challenge. If anyone else is as crazy as me, willing to try these two (yes, I said two) creative writing competitions – for the first time ever – then please chew on some of this stuff.
1. It’s doable (Is that a word yet?)
Sometimes I fear for myself because of my imagination. I like to think things through, to the extent that I often I imagine the worst case scenarios to sort through possible solutions before I do anything. As I said, this is all in my head, so sometimes I psych myself out and say, yea this is doable because if one day I cannot complete the word count quota for NaNoWriMo then the floor will open up and I will fall into a basement not unlike the one that saved the little girl on Himmel Street in The Book Thief and be safe from the raid of failure on my parade. That’s seriously what I think sometimes.
With the help of my Creative Challenge Workbook from my friend over at StoryADay.org I learned that facing those fears (realistically) is essential to seeing the competition through to the end. The fact that I can stomach the failure, will urge me to focus more energy on attaining the success.
2. Compete with, not against, yourself
I was forced to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on myself during and after last May when I did the Story A Day Challenge. From that experience I learned about my fierce need to win (strength). My fantasy football league is speaking to that truth as well this fall but I know the idea of victory (opportunity) fuels me.
The May Challenge for me was kind of like cannon-balling into a pool, fully dressed, at a party. Its a good idea when you’re prepared and garnered with support, like people jumping in with you. Otherwise you just cannonballed into a pool fully dressed at a party and you have to navigate your way out of it.
I see myself doing a bit of this if I fail to plan in time (weakness). I need to have a strategy if I fall off the Poetic bandwagon on Day 3 (thats a tough day!). But lastly, to name the biggest and most likely threat:
3. The Unexpected
No one can expect it, because duh, its unexpected! Unwanted things are going to happen. Thanksgiving is also in November and with that comes a lot of interruptions I can never foresee. The main idea is to remain realistic and flexible. Time management isn’t always about sticking to the schedule or anticipating what may happen. It is about dealing with the real life stuff that does happen.
I like taking big bites.