What I liked about The May Days was the way it appealed to my own joy in obsessing on a project or topic. I don't have the endurance to obsess indefinitely, but a set-aside time--Oh, I'm there. Seriously, I once did one of those week-with-no-TV things. I made two kids do it with me. I love this stuff.
Since last May, though, I've been reading The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McConigal. She talks about willpower (and lack thereof) spreading through groups. I'll do more on that next week In the meantime, I will just say that there appears to be some support for group writing initiatives like The May Days helping writers stay disciplined.
Well, tomorrow is May 1st, and our group is starting another May Days project or binge. Last year I didn't even hear about this until the day before, so I had done no preparation at all. This year as part of my New Year's planning I actually had a May Days goal and objectives:
"Goal 6. Work on an outline for "mummy book" during May Days (I wasn't prepared for May Days last year. I hope to be this year.)Objectives:
- Finish reading Wired for Story because I think we organic writers often don't know what our story is prior to writing, which makes plotting difficult.
- At least skim The Plot Whisperer for same reason
- Go over old research for this project and continue with more."
- Visit UVM's Fleming Museum, because right now a college museum figures into the setting/story
- Read half of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking for character development research
- Register for a 3-hour plot workshop this Sunday at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference
- Realize I can use the find-the-story posts from OC's Weekend Writer series to help with early find-the-story work
- Make a few journal notes over the past year for this project
Hey, a work-in-progress is in the eye of the beholder, n'est-ce pas?
Stay tuned to learn what Gail has to show for her May Days experience at the end of the month.