Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm Thankful for NaNoWriMo

I know, you're sick to death of NaNo posts, but hey, November's almost over.

Truth is, Thanksgiving is like my least favorite holiday. Not only are we celebrating (in ways we don't with Columbus Day and other questionable holidays) taking a country from it's native people, but we're doing it through gluttony. And not even vast quantities of food I love. Nope. Traditional Thanksgiving meals? That' like torture for me.

And I know the argument. Thanksgiving is really about giving thanks. Uh huh. So is Tuesday and every other freaking day that ends in "Y". You see, I don't believe in saving all my thanks for Turkey Day or even for November. I believe in being thankful every day. So, here I am, scheduled to post the day before Thanksgiving, and I know in my heart everyone wants a Thanksgiving post.

So here it is. It is November and I am thankful for NaNoWriMo.

Because of NaNo, I wrote the first novel I ever finished. Because of NaNo, I learned to turn off my internal editor (and that vodka is very helpful with that. Because of NaNo, I wrote the first book I ever sold. Because of NaNo I learned more about myself as a writer than any other single thing. And this year, because of NaNo, I'm learning that when the going gets tough (and believe me, it feels like November was designed to break me this year), you have two choices: crumble or get tough right back.

For someone who hates sports as much as I do (and I do--severely), one would think the idea of losing wouldn't bother me. But I'm staring down the last five days of NaNo with nearly 18,000 words to go. Not impossible by a long shot, but damn... And, that's as a NaNo Rebel who project hopped. Believe me, if I pull this off, I am taking my winner badge.

But even if I don't, I'll still be thankful. Because to that end, NaNo will have taught me that it's okay to fail. It's not like I'm in charge of keeping the world spinning. If I fail, we don't all die. Hell, I won't even die. I'll get up December 1 and the world will have kept turning, and I'll still be part of it. I'll smile and realize that I'm still an author. I still have the world's best job and two of the best kids anywhere. I have a fantastic family and great friends and a pretty fucking good life. I'll dust off my pajama bottoms and get back to work.

Because, like being thankful, I don't save my writing for November. It's for days that end in Y. And the ability for that to be true is one more thing I'm very thankful for.

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