For years I have heard of National Novel Writing Month, nicknamed NaNoWriMo, and yet I did not think it was the right way for me to go about writing my own novel. It seemed too light, fun, inclusive and buoyant. Wasn't writing a novel supposed to be heart-wrenching, gut-checking business? How could a novel be any good after only 30 days? What if I participated, but ended up writing something totally useless? But damn it if those NaNoWriMo's didn't seem to be having so much fun! My curmudgeonly self eventually lost out to my more dazzling self who has faith and believes in the process of creativity.
The 30-day challenge is open to anybody and the point is just to participate, not to see whose novel is actually worthy of reading, or dare I think it, even worthy of being published. I am pushing aside my internal devil of self-sabotage who likes to sit on my shoulder and say things like,
"Who do you think you are?"
"A real writer doesn't need a gimmick to finish a book."
"If you do NaNoWriMo, people will think you're not a literary writer. They will laugh and talk about you behind your back, feel sorry for you and call you a fraud."
That horned beast is so convincing! But he knows nothing of my resolve. I turn all his nasty questions and statements on their head:
- I believe I am a writer, a pretty good one, in fact. Always learning and growing.
-Real writers write. I do that, therefore, I'm real, baby!
-So what if people talk behind my back?
-I'm not a fraud, I'm a creative being full of ideas, words, and tales. I have so many things to write, I can sit right here and begin to tell you many wonderful stories. I have enough for a lifetime. I can make shit up like nobody's business.
I just completed day one of NaNoWriMo and it feels great. Can I do 29 more days? Who knows? Who cares? I am going to play and have fun with this. Want to join me? Anybody can do it. Check out the community of writing fools here and let's do this!