10: Behind the Book: Organizing, Writing and Gremlin-Taming

HUGE thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful emails, tweets and commentsabout last week’s announcement for The Pivot Method. I think my emoticon-loving heart might explode from seeing so many exclamation marks in one week! As promised, I’ve recorded two very scrappy “podcast” calls for those who submitted questions.

Part One: Behind the Scenes of the Proposal and Book Deal

Part Two: Behind the Scenes of Organizing, Writing and Gremlin-Taming



Making Coffee
Drinking Coffee
Drinking Another Cup of Coffee

Some of these may very well be part of the creative process . . . but do they count for output? Nope.

I remind myself of this every morning when, during my goal to write for at least 45 minutes, I start cycling through 90 percent of the activities above. As soon as I catch myself doing it, I (re)remember that none of it is output. It’s just a very fancy list of procrastination techniques.

What does count? A shitty first draft.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”

―Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life


Speaking of shitty first drafts, November marks National Novel Writing Month(abbreviated as NaNoWriMo), which started in 1999. The goal is to produce 50,000 words of a novel in one month. I’ve never been insane enough to attempt it, but this year feels worth a shot given that I’ve got a book to write anyway.

Since most of you reading are bloggers not novel writers, I’m setting up a very informal group called NaNoBlogMo via Google Spreadsheet to keep us all motivated for daily whatever writing, while still aiming for 1,000 words a day. I’ve been tracking daily writing routines with my good friend Alexis Grant in another spreadsheet, and it has been a big boost so far.

If you’re interested in joining the JB Crewadd your name to a blank row of this spreadsheet. Each day we’ll all input the number of words we’ve written, and I’ll likely hold a cheerleading/Q&A Calls during the month as well. Mostly, I’m doing this to hold myself accountable for writing every day, no matter how busy or tired I feel. No excuses! I know it will be more fun with all of you there too 

[Tweet This] Signed up for @jenny_blake’s NaNoBlogMo group—join the crazy train to attempt 50,000 bloggable words in November: http://bit.ly/nanoblogmo

See you in there on Saturday!!