February--the ickiest time of the year--when winter has hung around way too long to be amusing any more. A month so mind-numbing that someone invented Groundhog Day, just to break the monotony. But this year--in 2008--February is going to be different, at least on this side of the window pane.
I'm a big fan of NaNoWriMo, a program that encourages writers everywhere to write a novel in the month of November. The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days -- focusing on quantity, not quality. I participated in 2006, and wrote about 27,000 words before I had to quit because of other obligations--but hey--I did write 27,000 words I otherwise would not have written. In November,2007, we were packing up to move, so I didn't even attempt NaNo.
For me the problem with NaNo is the No part. November is usually an insanely busy month. So this year I decided to do FEBO (pronounced FEB-bo). At first I was going to try writing a novel in February. Then I realized that just writing anything would be a big step out of the Slough of Despond I've been wallowing in.
What I'd like to accomplish in February is to set some reasonable regular writing or marketing goals and then discipline myself to do them for one month. The hope is that I will change my routine so that writing becomes a priority. I'll know that FEBO was a success if I'm still writing/submitting regularly in March, April, and September.
At the moment I'm thinking that my goal will be to do writing or marketing for two hours a day, five days a week. But maybe that's too big, too daunting. I may change my mind and set a different goal before February 1st.
I'm inviting other writers to join me. NOT to join me in having the same goal but to set YOUR OWN goal and work toward it. Of course, some of you are already really disciplined and don't need this. But if you're like me and you would like some company while trying to establish a discipline of writing, you are welcome to join FEBO!
THE SO-CALLED "RULES" OF FEBO
1. Set a goal for writing/marketing in February--a chapter a day, a poem a week, five query letters for the month, ten minutes of free writing every Wednesday . . . . . .
2. Share your goals with the group and expect some gentle mutual accountability.
3. Work toward your goals, sharing victories and problems with the group if you wish.
4. Encourage yourself and others. Under NO circumstances are you to beat yourself up about not reaching a goal. Revise your goals if they aren't working. Or simply start fresh the next day.
I'm setting up this blog to create a way for the FEBO writers (all three of us???) to communicate and commiserate.
So let me ask this question of all potential FEBO participants. What TYPE of writing goal most appeals to you? So many words or pages a day? A certain amount of time each week? Something loosey-goosey and not too demanding? Something really sadistic and challenging? Working a new project? Editing something you've already written? Marketing the novel that's collecting dust on top of the filing cabinet?