NaNoWriMo Eve: On Bravery and Beginning

IMG_7526October is NaNoWriMo Eve. Next month, those who choose to participate in National Novel Writing Month will partake in a tremendous act of writing: 50,000 words – a novel – in a month.

But NaNo is about more than just words; no matter if we write 5 words or 100,000, it’s an act of self-confidence, of shattering mental boundaries, an act of tremendous bravery.

Believe me. I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo for many years, and every year I learn something new. I wrote a novel a month for a year, and every single one taught me, pushed me, inspired me.

Too many of us are walking around with a novel bouncing about, rattling our dreams, tapping on our ribs like a xylophone. These novels just need a little push, a little bravery for us to get them out.

NaNoWriMo gives us a chance to do just that – no questions, no hesitations. It lets us be brave.

No matter what goal you have, you can get there, one act of bravery – one word, sentence, goal, paragraph, sleepless night – at a time. These acts may be so small they seem only a something, but they are there, and they are powerful.

This year, your act of bravery might be signing up. It might be writing 5,000 words and lurking in the forums the rest of the time.

Or, even better, you act of bravery is to do it. To write, to keep writing, and then cross that finish line hell or high water, with whatever word count you’ve managed to create. You’ll face your mind for maybe the first time, and it will be glorious.

You’ll feel the rush of being stuck and pushing through.

You’ll consume more caffeine than you ever have in your life.

You’ll cry on the shoulders of friends you know only in the forums.

And you’ll bask in victory as you watch that word count bar get higher and higher with every update.

You will ignore typos as if it were your new religion.

You’ll be brave, fantastic, godlike, and rumpled.

At the end we shall drink from the skulls of our slaughtered characters and past doubts.

And what happens if you start that page, sign up, and then go blank? What happens if all those stories and words and voices that clamor in your mind suddenly go silent the minute your hands rest on the keys?

Don’t worry – I’m committing the next 45 days – through the end of November – to helping you, cheering you on, writing a post every damn day to keep you going.

And never forget that all creation myths begin the same way :

In the beginning, there was nothing.

*If you want to show you appreciation for my work here and elsewhere, please consider donating a small token to the Office of Letters and Light under my fundraising page to help me get into The Night of Writing Dangerously. When you donate any amount – even just $1.00, I will send you a password for my Sponsor Content page for the year – get exclusives to excerpts from my novel, secret writing stashes, and other goodies. Keep writing! -Michelle

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2 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Eve: On Bravery and Beginning

  1. Last November was the first and last time I just wrote virtually off the cuff, just to get the thing down. It’s a liberating experience that’s for sure. Then it took me 11 months to write the last 10k words 🙂 Look forward to your tips Michelle even though I’m not signed up this year.

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