Not Writing a Novel: NaNoWriMo

An Act of Rebellion

November Dreaming | Source

An Act of Rebellion

Well, it’s officially the first day of NaNoWriMo. Exciting stuff, huh? Like with my personal monthly writing challenges, I’ve signed up year after year, only to fail.

And here I am on Medium, writing this blog post instead of a story. People love writing more about the process of novel-writing than actually writing novels. I’m no exception here.

Elusive Stories: An Introspective

The idea of writing a novel is what most of us navel-gazers do. The act of writing a novel is both selfish and good. It is a journey of self-discipline and self-discovery.

Seldom would anybody that takes up the challenge actually go ahead and read one of the near-limitless novels written by their contemporaries that’re also laypersons and nonprofessionals. Unless of course there is the nepotistic demand of friends or family.

I’m being a bit romantic here, but I do not think anybody takes up the Sisyphean task to create the next Great American Novel. There’s no search for recognition or glory. It’s writing for the sake of writing.

Fiction writing, though, has always been something that has eluded me. What story could I make up in my head that isn’t more fascinating than what’s going on in our world today? That isn’t to say that ideas don’t flood my head often, particularly heavy, raw ones. Robert Cormier was one of my favorite writers when I was a teenager.

It’s so easy to get lost and tangled up into complicated, emotionally-driven plotlines. They’re in your head while you’re in the shower, or while you’re taking transit. But it’ll all fizzle out when you try to articulate it. As though our brains communicate with us in a foreign language.

Great works of Canadiana have always appealed to me, but the truth is that I don’t think I have what it takes to write that. One day, though, when I actually have something to say. But for now, I’ll still to honing my abilities with the craft of the personal essay. The short and simple musings on things I think about often.

Rebellion

With the above being said, I’ve been pretty neglectful writing in general. Looking back on the past few months, I’ve seldom written much. Since I began almost two years ago, you can see I had a bit of a manic frenzy between March and June of 2016. It’s when I really plunged into the game. As though I poured out every thought I had been wanting to write about all at once.

Of course, you get busy with other obligations. School, work, people. Responsibilities that you earn as currency as you grow up. But there’s always time. Small amounts of time all over. You write instead of checking Facebook. You write instead of sleeping-in that extra hour on the weekend. It’s a hustle, and it’s a grind.

And the idea of NaNoWriMo is fantastic — even if you aren’t writing a novel. It’s the idea of dedicating one-twelfth of your year to push yourself to create more than you think you’re capable of. Every year.

That’s a message that needs to be sent to everyone. So many of us are obsessed with consuming the content of others, and don’t even try to create anything ourselves.

That’s why I choose to rebel. Starting with this post. As the Wiki states:

A NaNo Rebel is a NaNoWriMo participant who chooses to write something besides a novel of at least 50,000 words in November. Some NaNo rebels choose to revise and edit their novels, while others wander into the worlds of nonfiction, video games, scripts, and academic writing.

There’s something I find so appealing about this off-shoot version of NaNoWriMo. (It could be due to how I naturally enjoy defying authority, though).

So I’m going to write. What exactly? I’m not sure. NaNoWriMo is about going in by the seat-of-your-pants, after all.

The important thing is that I write and post what I’ve written every day. The idea isn’t to succeed (although that would be nice), but instead to try.

The idea is to be able to find the semblance of a great idea while hurling yourself through the fields on a freezing night. (Pressure creates diamonds out of coal, after all.) To focus on the act of creating each day — Eat that Frog!

Current Word Count: 1,754