Sometimes I miss being in college. Of course I loved living in the same tiny town and the same tiny living quarters with some of the most amazing people I’ll ever meet. Of course I loved the late night dance parties, the unsuccessful study groups in the library, the very successful study breaks. Of course I miss the amazing theatre resources and budget and decent audience size for every show.
But what I really miss? The homework.
Now, I don’t miss all the homework. I sleep fine knowing I’ll never complete another Calculus work set again, and as much fun as I had reading scientific reports for Biology, I’ve never been inclined to pick up a copy of Nature and peruse it for fun. It’s the writing classes I miss the most. Having someone give you an assignment, hold you accountable for finishing it, and provide smart feedback on top of that was I gift I didn’t appreciate until I left the hallowed halls of Grinnell. As Joni Mitchell says, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
I’ve tried to create some semblance of accountability for myself, with varying degrees of un-success. Writing buddies, monthly goals, and self-imposed rewards haven’t really done the trick. But I’m really trying to get back into the swing of regular writing and revising, which is why I’m once again attempting to fully participate in National Novel Writing Month, “a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.”
For those of you that don’t know how to use a calculator it all breaks down to 1,667 words a day. Yesterday I wrote 230, so I’m already behind 1,437 words. But I can do this. Right?