As someone who sees little good in the Fall, November still holds a tender spot in my heart because it is the month in which NaNoWriMo is held.
If you have never heard of NaNoWriMo before, here’s the break down; November is National Novel Writing Month. It is thirty days of literary abandon where the crazies of the world gather and try to write a 50,000 word novel in that ridiculously small time frame.
I have been trying and failing to “Win” Nano for the past 6 (or 7 or 8?) years. The closest I ever got was in 2011, when I was living in New York, with very little to do outside of school. I had clocked in 30,603 words before my mom and friend flew in for a visit. I knew the week and a bit they were with me would be a complete write off, and I gave up pretty much immediately upon them landing.
I have “started” Nano (the name that us crazies endearingly call the event) basically every year since 2011. A couple hours past midnight on every November 1st you can usually find me sitting in front of my laptop, usually in the dark, staring at a blank screen, waiting for an idea to hit me. (For those who are not up on the lingo, this is called “Pantsing” (Or Winging It) Ie. Flying by the seat of your pants, not having a plan whatsoever.)
(***I’m suddenly realizing the correlation between Nanowrimo, and me not doing anything for Halloween for the past 6 years running… 🤔)
But as life goes, I always find other things getting in the way. Regardless of what year it has been, something has always come up preventing me to finish. First, my New York visit, then school, then my crazy work hours. You can say what you want about me and my time management, and how that if I want to do something, I could make time for it.. but I’ll tell you what, after a 65 hours week, you try feeling creative and pumping out 1667 words a night… Okay I’m actually looking at the word count of this blog post.. and it probably wouldn’t take me that long to get to 1667 or more…
But here’s the thing. Regardless of if I have won or not, or if I have typed 30 thousand words, or zero, Nanowrimo get’s me in the mood.
No. Not in that way.
It get’s me inspired. It makes me think about writing, about story development, about being creative in the spur of the moment. I love Nano for that feeling it gives me; it’s a feeling I can only compare to warm nostalgia. A memory of being free to write on my time, and get myself down on paper. It reminds me of what I’m truly passionate about, and it’s a healthy, much needed reminder in the daily hustle that is adult life. It reminds me to re-evaluate myself and my goals, so that I can dedicate time to those wisps of stories I have in the back of my brain, it reminds me of the 20 empty, unopened, notebooks I have sitting on my shelf, and finally, of that completed manuscript that I need to brush off, tweak, and submit.
And so NaNoWrimo. I love you so, and know that I am thinking of you this November. I will check on you often, cheering on your many lovers from the sidelines. While I don’t feel I necessarily deserve it, I share this Banner with pride, because even if I lose due to a word count of zero, I am still a participant.