National Novel Writing Month.
The last time I participated in NaNoWriMo was, evidently, 2006. I think I participated for like, a day and a half, because Lord knows I can’t even find a draft of anything written in that time frame. In fact, when I miraculously remembered my NaNo username and password, I was deeply, deeply saddened to see they had my age listed as 26. Oh, to be 26 again.
I almost won NaNo in 2004. I’ll spare the gory details, but basically, during the last few days of the month and against my better judgment, I went to somebody’s house. And while at that somebody’s house, two different people talked to to me NONSTOP for two days. I didn’t get to write and, in turn, I didn’t get to finish the last 3,000 or so words. Whatever. Life went on. No limbs had to be amputated. I survived.
Let’s talk about who I was in 2004. I’d been married about a year. I was fresh out of college. I had a degree that surely I was going to use. I was a volunteer at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. And I had time. Obscene and ridiculous amounts of time.
Let’s talk about who I am in 2012. I’m still awesome, obviously. I’ve been married almost ten years. I don’t use my degree. I have a 40 hour a week job that I work hard at, but don’t specifically use what I learned in college. I’ve got two kids. And I have no time.
In fact, as I write this, the boys are flying around the room like maniacs. Let me describe the chaos that has happened since I started this post:
1. The Toddler dumped his plate of chocolate chip muffin pancakes on the floor.
2. As I bent to pick up said pancakes, The Baby pulled up on the small computer stand by the couch.
3. The Baby pulled said computer stand down on top of him.
4. The broken laptop, half of the keys missing and marginally working with a desktop keyboard plugged into a USB port, went flying through the air, crashing in a heap.
5. The Toddler ripped his clothes off and started running around in just a diaper.
6. I managed to split open my knuckle.
The Toddler is now in pants. The Baby is drinking a bottle. And I have a Sponge Bob Square Pants band-aid on my knuckle.
This is why NaNo is kind of my nightmare. My own personal hell. My brain so desperately wants to pour out mass quantities of writing, but before that can happen, I have to pry people down off the walls and get them to bed.
I am 58% sure I will not be completing the requisite 50,000 words by the end of the month. But you know what, that’s okay. I’m hoping to simply challenge myself to write MORE this month than I did last month. To maybe finish a few chapters. That, in my opinion, will be the victory: not necessarily completion, but progress.
And, who’s excited to start off NaNo with a brand, spankin’ new laptop, not even out of the box yet? This gal. Yes, I did the unthinkable and bypassed the pen and paper method, instead buying a reasonably priced, no bells and whistles laptop to be used for my writing only. Only. And can I just say, here’s to you Best Buy. I placed my order Monday night and got my laptop this afternoon. All for free shipping. You can’t beat free and you certainly can’t beat fast.
So, writers who are about to write? I salute you. It’s going to be a fast thirty days. But, we’re all in this together. And if I can find a spare $45 laying around, I’m totally buying the gray NaNoWriMo hoodie. Because yes, on top of a laptop, I do need it. I’m cold and typing under a blanket is hard.