Monday, October 31, 2011

Once Upon a NaNoWriMo

Once upon a timeNaNoWriMo

It’s that special time of year when we ask ourselves, “WTF?”

It’s that time when we commit to writing 50,000 words of utter crap in a mere 30 days.

It’s when we kiss our families goodbye on Halloween and hope to see them again sometime after Thanksgiving, when we crawl like literary bears into our NaNoWriMo caves with only pen and paper for sustenance (or a laptop).

But it’s also the time when we enter that “special” world.

Like Fight Club, there’s that “look” people have when enduring NaNoWriMo. The bags under the eyes. The cramped wrists. We nod secretly in the halls of our workplaces or cafes, saying things like “Wrote 1300 last night”, “I hate my heroine, I think I’m gonna kill her off”, “Just hit the major Act II turning point dude”, or “got meth? Just kidding. But not really.”

For when we enter NaNoWriMo, we enter a hallowed arena upon which few dare to tread. A challenging obstacle course full of traps and pitfalls such as go-nowhere plots, impossible-to-escape jails, characters who disappear without warning, and of course the most dreaded monster of all: the “I forgot to backup my work and lost everything.”

But once we surmount these setbacks and push through to the final 50K finish line, we can look back upon ourselves with pride, and for some of us, for the first time in our lives, we can call ourselves, “Novelists.”