November is here. The time has come again to attempt the intimidating and seemingly impossible. And I'm saying now that I am not afraid.
Starting tomorrow I begin the 30 day journey through National Novel Writing Month AKA NaNoWriMo. Basically that means I am committing to being a recluse for the next month. I will be giving up television, dinners out, time with friends, hobbies, and anything else that makes me a normal human being. I will cease to be a social creature all for the good of a story. (If you want to be my writing buddy, I'm wastepaperprose, as always.)
For those of you who aren't familiar with this ancient and painful writerly trial, the goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. That's 1,667 words a day. Outside of a sense of accomplishment, you can wind up with a few parting gifts less desirable than a complete draft of a novel. Increased neurosis, death of brain cells, hair loss, poor hygiene, dwindling social skills (including an inability to hold conversations with people you did not create), and sudden on-set agoraphobia.
The whole process goes a little something like this:
Day 1: I should have done more planning.
Day 2: This isn't as hard as I thought. I think I've finally hit my stride!
Day 7: Today someone asked me if I was a masochist. What's that supposed to mean?
Day 12: ssxn:?shsogvfi@fkhnbkgkv#:"sbksnviwc
Day 15: You haven't left your house, which has become a cesspool in two weeks and you're not sure this is worth it.
Day 20: You are incessantly checking your word count and take-out has become a way of life.
Day 22: Still no plot? No problem.
Day 26: Troll your manuscript in search of contractions. You're only cheating yourself.
Day 30: Hopefully you have 50,000 words. You can sort out the details later.
But NaNoWriMo is a fickle mistress. It lures you in with pretty lies and empty promises, causes you undue stress, and, when you're teetering on the brink of insanity, it drops you on your keister. You might find yourself trying to churn out those last hundred words for the day at ungodly hours of the morning and looking much like this:
I tried to take on the challenge last year and fell too far behind the curve. NaNoWriMo had all these expectations of me. I was developing guilt and inadequacy issues as a result of not living up to them. Long story short, we broke up.
This year will be different. I'm making the commitment to do this, and I will do my best to blog about my efforts. There will be no break-up letter this year. I will crush you NaNoWriMo. Oh yes, I will.