Somehow, NaNoWriMo is sneaking up on me. It’s National Novel Writing Month. It always starts on November first and ends on November thirtieth, so I should be able to see it coming, shouldn’t I? Yet here I am, on October twenty-ninth, totally unprepared. I don’t have an outline. I don’t have a plan. I don’t even have a supply of appropriate snacks.
I do, of course, have a good supply of my favorite coffee. I’m not a complete slacker. Some things cannot be left to chance. If I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo, I must have enough coffee to float a small armada. That “if” ought to mean I have a choice. I don’t really have to write fifty thousand words in the month of November. No one is holding a gun to my head. Theoretically, I could decide not to do it this year. I’ve done it twice. I’ve won it twice. I could give myself a break.
I wonder why I can’t imagine doing that. NaNoWriMo is hard. I have lots of other things to do in the month of November. I need to fill a tie-dye special order that involves four different color palettes. I need to get my house clean enough to host a family gathering on Thanksgiving. I have to make stuffing and yeast rolls and fifteen or sixteen pies. Why do I take on the added challenge of writing at least one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words a day, when I don’t even have a plan?
I’m hooked, that’s why. I’m hooked on the camaraderie. I’m hooked on the November first kick-off latte, the excited first-week word sprints and the horrible second-week doldrums. I’m hooked on the pep talks, the word count updates, and the plot bunnies. I’m hooked on the traveling shovel of death. I have tasted the adrenaline-laced word frenzy that is National Novel Writing Month and I can’t give it up.
If you’ve managed to avoid NaNoWriMo until now, there’s still hope for you. You can have a November free of late night typing fests and frantic word count updates. You can spend your November evenings doing jigsaw puzzles or playing Monopoly. You can eat leftover Thanksgiving pie and watch Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas on Black Friday without worrying about catching up on two days worth of word count. It’s too late for me but you can still save yourself. Run! It’s almost upon you!
Or you could go to nanowrimo.org and join us. Come on, you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it.