NaNoWriMo, also known as National Novel Writing Month, takes place every November and is one of my favorite months! It is an insanely busy month with my birthday, Boo's birthday, Thanksgiving and of course opening the gateway to my favorite holiday, Christmas! To add 50,000 words of novel writing to this jam packed month seems a little crazy, and yet I have been doing it faithfully for 5 years. This will be my 6th attempt at NaNo and I am hopeful it will not end my winning streak.
But, this year will be very different. Last year I was only teaching a few classes, home before Boo got off school every day so had writing time in the afternoon. Adding the full time PhD student/teacher/lab monkey, to the rotation will add new and unique sets of challenges. But I am determined to try! The real trick to NaNo is to write a little every day, always aim for the word count (1667) but know some days you'll miss it, but you'll make it up another day.
My BFF has already pointed out that is absolutely ridiculous to attempt NaNo this year. She might be right, after all I have a lot more on my plate than I did in the previous 5 years. But, NaNo is all about me. It's one of the few things I do that is 100% for myself. I'm not trying to be the world's greatest novelist, I am giving myself permission for one month to let my creative side dance like a fool. Would I like my stuff to be published? Sure, who wouldn't! But that's not my driving purpose behind attempting NaNo. What really keeps me coming back every year is the sense of accomplishment it gives me to see the word bar creep up, the joy I get from letting my imagination scamper free, the satisfaction of creating something unique.. NaNo is the one month a year where I give myself permission to explore my imagination and record the journey. It's almost therapeutic. While there will be times during the month where it is maddening, frustrating, and I will consider quitting, when I reach the end it is euphoric. I "win" random internet stickers and I run around like I personally defeated Zod. Then I will go back to all scientific writing all the time, maybe touching my creative works two or three times the rest of the year. Until we come back to November when we can start the extreme creativity explosion all over again.
Self-expression, self-satisfaction, that's why I NaNo.