Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Quotas Oh My!


November is National Novel Writing Month. During this month, a contest called NaNoWriMo encourages fiction writers to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight, November 30th. Now I am not a fiction writer but I am writing a book and I feel inspired by this contest to not only write more but also, to write more often than I have up to now. In fact, I've given myself a minimum quota of 1000 words per day.

I can't tell you how much this quota has helped me. Now let me clarify that meeting such a quota does not mean you are necessarily writing anything of quality, but it is forcing you to write, to pull out all stops and the end result is that even if you have a bad manuscript, the bottom line is that you have something to edit. If you write nothing there is nothing to edit and your mind piles on even more excuses for not writing. I in fact had put my book on hold, but I am happy to say, I've pulled it out and am working diligently on it.

So I offer you a bit of advice that in some form, was handed down to me. If you want to get something done, create a quota. If it is writing, how many words did you write today? If it is to get a job, how many resumes went out today? If it is to lose weight, how many calories did you eat today? You get the picture. The days results must fit in a very small space. The numbers will tell the tale in the end and can even predict the future. There is no space for stories or excuses.

Set your quotas and watch how even after just a few days, your life begins to change and if you are interested in participating in NaNoWriMo, visit