According to experts, any solitary activity, whether it is a diet programme or a physical fitness regimen, has a greater chance of success if the ‘Buddy System’ is used.
What is a buddy? In this case, it could be your BFF or in the absence of that, one who can hold you accountable for reaching the targets you have set for yourself. Perhaps you decide to go for a jog every morning. Or perhaps you set for yourself a target to write in your food diary daily. You are then expected to contact that person and inform them whether you have done your target activity for the day. This very process of being accountable to someone else for your actions acts as a great motivator to do what you were supposed to do.
Now, what can be a more solitary activity than writing?
A writing buddy is a must, then. And NaNoWriMo (nanowrimo[dot]org) lets you choose the writing buddies you want from among the lakhs of other wrimos, worldwide.
When I just began doing NaNo, I made a lot of buddies. Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, Lindsey Grant and Sarah Mackey of the Office of Light and Letters which runs NaNoWriMo were some of them, amongst others. I am an erratic writer, not writing at all on some days and then writing upto 10K words in a day. I would often check the word counts of my buddies and then scamper to raise my own if I found the gap becoming uncomfortably bigger.
Impromptu buddies would sprout up during the writing sprints and challenges being conducted in the NaNo forums and mutual motivation and encouragement led to a substantially pumped up wordcount on those days.
As an ML, I have a large number of wrimos that buddy me and I encourage that because towards the end of the month, I have easy access to their word counts and if anyone of them is just a few thousand words short of becoming a winner I can goad them on, gently but firmly. As Neil Gaiman said, “Finish what you have begun.” And the feeling of having a completed first draft is priceless.
Writing Tip#2: Always know how your story is going to end. Say, you want to go to Churchgate from Andheri. If you explore the travel options there are many. You could go by bus, train, car or even walking if you are so inclined. You could change the modes of transportation on the way, even. If you don’t know the way you can ask for directions. But if you do not know your destination and you go to the ticket counter at the station you will have no answer for the question, “Ticket to where?” Ultimately you will remain stuck, and coming back to the novel, this happens somewhere in the middle of the book. So, always know how your story is going to end.
This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2014.
Some writing buddies of mine also doing the A-Z Challenge:
So, ‘B’ it was today.