So here we are, another November. Another NaNoWriMo that my group is a part of (and probably will be each year for the foreseeable future). It’s a little stressful, but only because I don’t want to let the group down (or myself). But it’s mostly fun for a lot more reasons than it’s, well, not fun.
First and most important of all, is the writing! I love to write, and every November (and also in the summer months during Camp Nano) I actually get credit for it! Nano really amounts to not much more than bragging rights, but it’s an accomplishment! Shared bragging rights with a group is even better! It’s inspiring, motivating, and invigorating. Long as you just keep swimming, just keep swimming, typing, typing…
Second, there’s the camaraderie. Nano is something to be a part of, something each member of my close-knit group is participating in. There’s tremendous bonding in the face of struggle, and squeezing in an average of 1,667 new words each day of the month can be akin to Mein Kampf. In a non-Nazi, writerly sort of way that doesn’t involve killing anyone except fictional people who only exist in our imaginations. Oh and probably some cells that don’t have time to regenerate because most of us just aren’t getting enough sleep this month.
Third, it gives me just one more reason–a validation, even–to get my ideas down on paper! A flag to eventually fly for the world to see, and a small glimpse into my younger personality and psyche for my kids and grandkids to remember me by. And perhaps future progeny who I’ll never meet to at least somewhat get to know me by. These little blog posts help with that, too (providing a CME from the Sun doesn’t wipe out all digital data before a couple generations go by). And that’s my real motivation right there: To inspire and influence others, especially a younger generation. I love molding and corrupting fragile little minds. Making them think about the possibilities that Could Be, rather than just accept everything they’re told like little sheep, little lemmings, led to the cliff of unquestioned conformity and/or religious zombie-ism. Mua ha haaaa. That might sound unorthodox and downright blasphemous coming from a career soldier like myself, someone whose very livelihood depends on conformity and not questioning orders. But just because I’ve followed *most of* the rules all my life doesn’t mean I adhere and condone each and every one of them and never questioned a great many of them (I lost track of the number of times I was told to shut my mouth and said fine and let it be). I’m simply not stupid enough to throw away a lifetime of pretty dern good pay checks plus two solid pensions on mere idealism. I’m a pragmatist, if that’s really a word. Fish gotta swim, writers gotta eat.
My progeny will definitely see all my sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, paranormal and even romantic musings even if no one else in the world does, because when they come to visit, they will see the paper copies I’ve printed on demand with my name on them. When the subject comes up, they will be told, “your great grandfather was a writer, he wrote a lot of books and short stories.” And they will say, “Really? What kind? Where are they?” and they’ll be told. "Well, one’s right there, holding up that broken arm chair… One’s over there propping up the virtual piano… Oh and this one here makes a nice cutting board.“ But my hope is that one of them will get curious, find an old sports almanac to replace the book under the broken arm chair, and carefully peel the pages apart, sealed together with the dust of decades to get to the wonderfully crafted story inside. And hopefully it won’t be like reading Shakespeare to him or her.
Anyway, it’s definitely Reason #3 that motivates me more than anything else to write, and Nano gives me an excuse to tell my family that I’ll be a little less accessible during the month of November because I’m actively laying down the stones on the path from dreamland to realityland. NaNoWriMo gives me a valid excuse–in the eyes of my group and myself anyway–to do the one "selfish” thing I love most. More than drawing, more than playing video games, more than catching up on my much-loved TV shows. I love creating things that make people laugh on occasion, cry on occasion, and above all else, make them THINK beyond the confines of their little world. Hell, I write nearly everyday anyway, so why not do every Nano and other writing event that comes along so others can share my struggle, and see just how much time I put into this thing I desire so much called “being a bestselling (or even decent selling) author”?
And maybe a little competition amongst the other souls in my collective doesn’t hurt, either. 🙂 Nano on, dudes!
Here’s to everyone who loves to write as much as I. May our pencils be ever-sharp, our pens be ever-full of ink, and all the little letters and numbers and symbols on our heavily-worn keyboards pop ever-faithfully back up in the ready and eager position.
– Rod Galindo and the Wordwraiths