If you have a friend or family member who fancies themselves a "real" writer (whatever the fuck that means), chances are for the past thirty days, you've heard rumblings about NaNoWriMo (affectionately called "NaNo" by those putting themselves through this special circle of hell that only comes around in the month of November).
This is the first year I've actually done NaNo. Let me be clear. I have signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the past three years. This is the first year I've actually written something. For NaNo. I think in years past it was a series of blogs about how "I need to get ready for NaNo"...or "Shit, November's half gone"...and finally, much like a tragically optimistic Browns fan, "well, there's always next year." Note, in most cases "Cubs Fan" would have been an acceptable substitute.
This year was different. You see, along about August I fell in with a group of writers. I would say 'collective,' but they are far less Borg-ish and more 'let's take the one ring and toss it in the fires of Mordor.'
It's funny. I've been to 3 months worth of meetings and I still feel a little like Jane Goodall must have felt, "holy shit...they've accepted me as one of their own. If they find out I'm not really one of them, I'm so boned." That's not to say I don't consider myself a writer. But I'm not in the same place as most of the others in the group. I'm not published. I don't go to cons to sell my book (conventions, not inmates). So...I'm not really sure how I came to be in this group. But you know what? Chicken Butt. Sorry...sometimes the twelve year old in me comes out to play (there may or may not be a fart joke somewhere down the line).
But yeah, I'm in the group. And I am loving it. I feel that gleaning from them has elevated my writing (previous butt joke aside).
And because of a discussion with them prior to NaNo, I took the NaNo plunge again.
Only this time I wrote. I found the thread of a book buried in my burgeoning hatred of social media (yes, there are complex notes of irony mixed with a need for validation--get over it, most creatives are that way from what I've seen)...but yeah.
A fothermucking book.
At 50,000 words it would probably be something like 200 published pages.
Only I didn't hit 50,000.
I hit 23, 902 words. Not quite half.
But Todd, that's a fail. You failed to hit 50,000 words. You failed, bro.
To which I say. Nope. Sure as shit didn't. The previous two years that I signed up for NaNo and wrote nothing, THOSE years I failed NaNo.
Sure, I didn't win any of the prizes.
But I have a really good start to a book. A book that I'm enjoying writing. A book that I am continuing to write even though NaNo ended yesterday. A book that I will see through.
That, my friends, is how you succeed at NaNoWriMo.
Like a boss. Or a sometimes farty 44 year old man who fancies himself a writer.
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