last november i participated in no-shave november. i’m pretty sure it isn’t an official designation for the month but i participated nonetheless. it was fun to beard up ahead of thanksgiving.
honestly, it didn’t require much effort on my part other than steer clear of scissors, razors and other sharp objects that could separate hair from my face.
but this year i’m upping the challenge.
this year, i’m going to write a novel.
this won’t be the current work in progress i’ve been tinkering with for the better part of a year. no, this is going to be a completely new and original work.
you see, i just threw my keyboard into the ring for national novel writing month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. (yes, i just used capitals, pick up your jaw from off the floor.)
the concept of national novel writing month is as simple as it sounds: to bang out a novel before the calendar turns to december.
no edits. no mercy. just writing.
how many words, you ask? the rules spell out that for the purposes of the competition, a novel is 50,000. so in other words, to succeed, participants have to average about 1,667.67 words a day from november 1st through 30th.
like i said: no mercy.
the novel you write must be completely original at the outset of the month. in short, you can’t use snippets or passages from other stories or novels you’ve begun. (lord, do i have a lot of those.)
the rules do allow for outlining, research, and character sketches ahead of november 1st but i’m going to start cold.
in other words, with just over a week to go before november, i have no clue what my novel is going to be about. and yes, that’s equal parts scary and exciting for me. but i want to challenge myself, see what i’m made of.
i’ve known about NaNoWriMo for a few years. i even tried my hand at it two years ago. i was in a different place, then, however, and despite an admirable effort for the first few days, i petered out.
but this year will be different.
this year i will not give into the fear, anxiety, or self-doubt that have long bogged down my spirit. i’ve no doubt they will rise up and do their best to knock me off focus.
but i’m going to be stronger.
this has been a year of new choices and changing perspectives. this has been a year of reclaiming my life and boldly declaring who and what i am.
i am a writer.
bring it, november.
question: what’s something you can challenge yourself to do over the next month?