Challenges · Writing

NanoWriMo 2011: Official Kickoff (Posted on old site: 10/31/2011)

 I woke up this morning, and there was nothing special about it. Reluctantly, I rolled out of bed, then showered and dressed and walked to the train station. And there was nothing special about that, either. I sat on the train and carried on a conversation with a good friend. I arrived at work and walked the tightrope that is my job all the while delicately balancing slaving away for my boss and slaving away for my novel. And there was nothing special about any of it. And that is how my life goes every day.
            For millions around the world, today is not just Halloween—a day of witches and warlocks and candy (lots and lots of candy!)—today marks the end of something terrifying and the beginning of something amazing.
            For Wrimos around the globe, we have had a 336 day respite from the insanity that was the 2010 National Novel Writing Month. Many went into hiding for a good month while many others were brave enough to break out the red pen; surely turning their poor manuscript into something akin to the Faulkner classic As I Lay Dying. Much like As I Lay Dying, Nanowrimo first drafts are typically rough in nature, oftentimes riddled with curious prose, run-on sentences, and they don’t make more than a lick of sense. Unfortunately for Wrimos everywhere, the general writing population is subject to rules that apparently Faulkner was not.
            But I digress.
            Perhaps this no longer makes sense.
            Faulkner is legendary. I have yet to finish my first novel. Yada yada yada. I will now retreat to my rightful place in my tiny, unassuming corner. The point is that we’ve had 336 days to prepare for tonight. I know—I’m wordy. Brevity never was my strong suit.
            So, in just a few hours—at the stroke of midnight when it officially becomes November—writers far and wide will leave behind the ordinary and set out to achieve the extraordinary: 50,000 words in 30 days.
            What I learned from last year’s epic fail was that 50k in 30 days is hard. Life gets in the way, problems come up that cannot be ignored, and then there’s that holiday at the end of the month. And whether you give up four days in like I did (I know, I am embarrassed!), or you make it all the way through to the end, it’s an experience one isn’t likely to forget.
            What makes Nanowrimo so extraordinary is that it pushes every one of us to try something new and scary. It pushes us to dig deep into our creative little souls and tell the stories we have long since been putting off. But more than that, Nanowrimo pushes us to stop putting limitations on our capabilities.
            So, when I left work today, the commute was nothing special. And nothing special happened during my shower, or when I sat down to write this blog post.
            But the moment I open up that word doc at midnight, something very special will happen. Along with millions of others around the world (and a few of my closest friends), I will slip into that land of make-believe where witches and warlocks don’t only exist on Halloween, where anything is possible if only you believe, and miracles can and do happen on every page.
            Happy Nanowrimo 2011 everybody!
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