NaNoWriMo Arrives Again

Well, it’s that time of the year again. November, the month of “no’s” is upon us.

However, for writers, this month has a bit of a different meaning.

You see, November is national novel writing month, also known as NaNoWriMo. Every year, writers across the nation pick a word count goal, then try their best to reach it by the end of the month.

The standard word count-and the one that I’m doing-is fifty thousand. We’re now a little over a week in, and my soul hurts almost as much as my fingers, even as I’m typing this up at an ungodly hour at night.

Despite the lack of sleep and all the joy that brings-I now think it’s safe to assume the man with the monkey mask standing in the corner of my room is a figment of my imagination-I can honestly say that there’s something gratifying about forcing myself to write like this.

Like many writers out there, I have an almost mythical ability to procrastinate. I can block out an entire day to do work, do a quick google search to confirm something for my writing, then suddenly the day is over and I have done irreparable damage to my browsing history, all without having put a single word to paper. Or word document. Whatever. The point is, not getting anything worth mentioning done is basically my superpower.

Thus, I actually appreciate NaNoWriMo whenever it comes around, something that I figured I should admit to now before the crunch to hit my word goal begins in a couple weeks. I know I’m not painting a particularly glowing picture of the experience, but that’s probably what makes it so important. It sucks, and is burning up an unforgivable amount of my free time, but it’s necessary.

Having a passion for writing is difficult because it’s misleading. You go in thinking that you’ll love doing it all the time-it’s your passion, after all-and come out thinking you’d rather lose both arms than write another single word.  That’s why sometimes you need a swift kick to get you started, even if the kick comes repeatedly, everyday for a month, and it’s really starting to hurt.

Shit, I’m going negative again. Sorry. Point is, the stuff that’s most important is always going to hurt. That’s because change-especially positive-is work. You grind your fingers to the bone to try and get better, go to bed, wake up in the morning, and do it all over again. Then, at the end of one day, you take a good long look at what you’ve done. At all the pages that you’ve put off doing for so long, that you’ve just hammered out in one semi-conscious stupor. It’s a good feeling, and it will be you lifeblood throughout NaNoWriMo, and frankly, throughout life in general.

But it’s still not quite as good as sleep, which I think I’m gonna do now.

*Sadly, I’ve uploaded this a little too late for you to do a full NaNoWriMo, unless you’re feeling really masochistic. If you don’t want to wait a full year to participate, they have camp NaNoWriMo in April and July. I would recommend you check it out; I would strongly recommend that you pick less than fifty thousand words, too.