On Saturday, October 19th, I attended the kick off event for National Novel Writing Month. While I participated in the event since 2008, that weekend marked the first time I attended a kick off event. From newbies to those with a few ‘wins’ under their belt, we heard from our Municipal Liaisons (MLs in NaNo parlance) about the joys, anxieties, and pressures of getting to 50 K.
I say ‘pressure’, but it comes from within not outside. It’s out witting the inner critic to put one word in front of another, and have a draft on November 30th. What happens next is up to the writer in question. Some put the novel away and start anew next year, others have something they can work on in hopes to publish someday.
I simple want to see if some momentum happens. The first goal before November 1st is get a germ of an ideal. The next goal after November 1st is to grow it into something. The next goal after November 30th has a few question marks. Since 2008 I give it a try thanks to V, one year I did come within 20,000 words of the goal with sustained effort. (It also helps to have a pretty calm November.)
In fact I started the NaNo experience during third term of the Library and Information Technology program. On the surface it looked crazy with all the assignment output, their due dates clustered together like a tumor, but I now realize why I did it. I needed a counterbalance to the insane workload. I needed to imagine, to create a world of my making and not the rubrics of an assignment. I also learn the fine art of balancing, like the spinning plates act on classic Ed Sullivan shows. Yeah, I wanted to see if I could do it. I didn’t get to 50,000 then either but there lies the beauty of it:
It’s simply in the beginning of something and to stay with its process.
Each attempt taught me something new. Sometimes it’s keeping my calendar clear of activities. Other times it’s turning off that TV no matter what sweeps stunt wants to steal your time. While I keep myself grounded there is such thing as setting the bar low for oneself. The fear is not reaching the goal. It’s either nearly reaching it, or actually doing it. Suddenly the voice saying ’50 thousand is impossible’ no longer sounds like the parent or teacher. It sounds an awful lot like you.