I skipped writing something about week two. I didn’t post in large part because I was traveling, and in prioritizing a blog post versus making my 15 minutes plus of work on my draft, the blog post lost. No apologies here, no excuses, not even a coin flip to decide. I could have written a blog post or two, or I could work on the book. I’m happy with my choice.
I mention this because this is the three week mark in whichever flavor of WriMo you chose. Three weeks is on the low end of how long it normally takes to form a habit, but congratulations! Like any habit you’re now in the time frame where not writing’s going to make you feel kind of itchy, and we’re about to hit the point in November where family obligations are going to make you feel a little guilty taking that time. Just remember, the time you’ve spent writing didn’t come entirely from work, or school, or other obligations. The things you need to do, you’ll get done. They’ll demand the time required and you’ll get those obligations completed.
In most cases the time you’re now spending on your shiny new habit has been taken from time on Twitter. Not really a big deal, as their IPO seems to have done just fine with you tweeting less. It comes from time spent reading blogs like this one. It comes from watching less TV (though hopefully not from watching less Sleepy Hollow because that show’s some crazy fun, amiright?).
Just remember, at the end of the month you might get to write “The End,” but you’ve still got a ways to go before that draft’s in publishable form. Put it this way; writing is a lot like cooking, and anyone can cook. You’ve just spent three weeks proving that. On the other hand, being a published writer is like opening a restaurant. You’ve mastered some recipes and like the stuff you can cook, but going to that next level takes a whole different kind of focus.
To extend that metaphor nearly to its breaking point, your choice of WriMo has gotten you into the habit of using your kitchen every day. It gets you to the point where you’re ready to invite friends over for dinner parties and see if they like how you cook. That in itself has value; it lets you entertain yourself and possibly your loved ones. If you’re committed to the time and energy required to scale that to restaurant level, consider making that a “next year project” so you can do it right.
When you finish this month, keep in mind the thirty-one days left in this year. That’s an excellent stretch to re-read your draft and break out the blue pencil. It’s a fantastic time to get a start on the next project while you consider the fate of that WriMo draft. There are tons of resources out there to lead you through the query process if you take the traditional route, and an enormous swath of Self-Publishing tools if you’re looking to join the new vanguard as they claim fresh ground. You’ve already learned you can find the time when you need it. For the next week just dig deep, finish strong, and enjoy your new habit.