Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The First Days of NaNoWriMo

I have a few words about these first two days of NaNoWriMo, but first I need to say a few things about...


Now, like most of you, I grew up loving Halloween. I used to love getting dressed up, going Trick or Treating around the neighborhood and coming home with a ton of candy that would slowly diminish over the course of the next few weeks (probably quicker than it should have). But, as time went on, the magic went away.

It became a hassle to have to think of some awesome costume to wow the crowd and walk around begging for candy.

Then came college.

College, where the sole theme of Halloween was: "Girls, dress slutty and get drunk while the guys dress like idiots and also get drunk." Unfortunately, this was no fun for me because I don't drink. I was taking the intellectual high ground of "why in God's name would I want to do any of that?"

The last time I really did anything of consequence was when we made a trip to Chapel Hill on Halloween to walk Franklin Street (a yearly tradition of drunken debauchery and costumed shenanigans). Even then I just opted for my Silent Bob "costume" (a trench coat and a backwards hat) and walked around enjoying the madness.

Last year I stayed home editing Five Minutes 'Til on Halloween. Oh, and running to pick up the director of the aforementioned short from the drunk tank at 4 in the morning.

This year, however, has definitely topped even my childhood memories for the Best Halloween EVER!

And here's why:

That's right players at home, Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues made an appearance in Downtown Wilmington this year, and lo did they have a blast.

We hit up a few parties, then went downtown. Most of Front Street was slammed with people, so we went to the Browncoat Pub and Theatre. And there, amongst characters like Betty Boop, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the Warriors, Penny Lane, She-Ra, Erin the E-Surance girl, Ash Williams, Lady Gaga, the Dude, Silent Bob, a marshmallow covered Ghostbuster, Bubba from Night of the Scarecrow, and a cast of hundreds Jake and Elwood hopped up on stage and performed "Soul Man."

There's video of this momentous event, and I'll post it here as soon as it's uploaded.

Without that costume and my amazing friend J alongside me as Elwood, it never would have happened. Something opened up in me that night, and a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

And it was just in time, because Sunday was November 1st; the first day of NaNoWriMo.

For the uninitiated. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every November, thousands of writers throw caution to the wind and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month's time.

Are we crazy? Maybe. Are we determined? Hell Yeah!!

I tried NaNo last year and didn't even start writing. Unmitigated failure? Oh yes. And I don't think I truly recovered. It's why I've had trouble writing (well, it's one of several reasons I've had trouble writing). Maureen Johnson's BEDA (Blog Every Day April) was the start of a long process of getting into the habit of writing. After BEDA, I started slipping. Life got in the way (tired excuse, I know, but what can you do?) and there was no light at the end of the tunnel (will the cliches ever end!?).

But, something seems different. After Saturday night, I have some new drive that's actually keeping me active and on the ball. Am I changed? Did that performance release something that's been lying dormant all this time?

I hope so. I really do.

For the love of Pete, just look how much I wrote in this blog! If I can keep this intensity going all month, I'll have no problem reaching 50,000 words.

As it stands, I'm a little behind on the daily goals, but I haven't really had time to sit down and do nothing but write. Tomorrow will be a writing day, so we'll see how far along I am.

Currently, I'm sitting on 1,253 words (based on averages, I should have something akin to 4,000 words by now). We'll see where things stand tomorrow.

Now, I'm off to bed. So tomorrow I may write!

William the Bloody Changed Redd


JeffScape said...

I've almost been convinced to try out NaNoWriMo, but will probably abstain from this year.

You should check out The Tenth Daughter of Memory when you get a shot.

May said...

What kind of a challenge is this NaNo?
To me it seems good for stay-home-mothers who don't have much else to do and must entertain themselves in some way.

William the Redd said...

I'm not entirely sure how to respond to May's comment other than I think you're wrong, as do thousands of other yearly NaNo participants. Which I'm sure, include a small number of stay-at-home mothers.

If it was solely for entertainment, why not waste that time browsing the internet for comic strips, videos, sudoku, crosswords, and other such time fillers?

Who in their right mind considers the stress of 50,000 words in 30 days "entertaining"?