I learned about NaNoWriMo in 2011, and every year since I found myself backing out of participation because of various life circumstances. This year as I’ve eased up to the official start date of Nov 1 fully committed to participate, I’ve found my fear trying to pave the usual excuse-path to bail out, rather than start knowing I’ll fail.
No, I didn’t put as much planning and preparation into it as I’d hoped. But this year I WANT IT more than I ever have. So no, I don’t get to back out. Instead, I’ve got friends sending me messages of encouragement which help more than I ever imagined, and I’ve got a desire to DO that is greater than my concern for publicly failing.
As a source of inspiration, I looked back through one of my #30Days challenges (#TILfor30days) from more than a year ago. I’d like to share one that I find very applicable for anyone participating in #NaNoWriMo:
#TIL Day 29 of 30
(originally posted June 18, 2014)
Today I *think* I learned how to take Ray Bradbury’s advice. This is my longest #TIL post but I have to share some thoughts…
Work. Relax. Don’t Think.
Ray Bradbury gave me these words. Not in person, of course but through his succinct and charming little book, Zen and the Art of Writing. I love this book.
I’d forgotten about it sitting over there on my bookshelf gathering years of Las Vegas desert dust, until a conversation a few months ago with author Richard Bach. You’d think I’d have a better memory of the conversation details, but most of those have passed. What I do remember is, I was home, sick in bed but doing some remote work. During my call with Richard, he shared his story of the first time he’d met Ray Bradbury. His story inspired me so much that immediately upon the close of the call, I grabbed my copy of Zen… and gobbled it up, so to speak.
The result: INSPIRATION.
Just thinking back today, to the way I felt that day, revitalized that huge shot of inspiration I’d felt.
It inspired me to do just those things. Work. Because work creates a rhythm. And rhythm creates relaxation. Which results in more relaxation, which results in getting things done.
I’ve been practicing a lot of angles for productivity, self-improvement, self-reinvention, self-discovery and general well-being. Several things over the past year, in particular, have taken and other things, not so much. But today my friends, something clicked in a big way. Time will tell what that means exactly but right now, it feels pretty intense and clear.
Join me in getting out of our heads for a bit. Join me in finding a way, rather than an excuse.
Work. Relax. Don’t Think.
Given my geographic location and accounting for the forthcoming “Fall Back” time change, NaNoWriMo kicks off in less than 15 hours. The excuses have started piling up on why I haven't done as much as I'd hoped and I started to convince myself there’s no way I can pull it off this year, I should back out.
With challenges like NaNoWriMo, I know that planning is a huge part of success. Can it be done flying by the seat of our pants? Sure! Is that the approach I'm likely to take? At this point... pretty much. I know that the less planning I do, the greater the odds of my failure. I also know I have what I have to work with.
I want to plan more, yes, and the reality of the day-to-day is also staring me in the face. I know other people experience this stuff, too. Documenting it is a little embarrassing, to be honest. I want to roll up in here all “I got this” like. Not happening.
I have work, I am a mom. Those two realities and all the nuances in-between are 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week events. There’s a lot more nestled into every day and what I have to remember is to keep my head up when it comes to my NaNoWriMo challenge. I WANT THIS. I want it badly. I have to make time for the things I want because if I don’t, I’ll never experience the reach, the struggle or the reward of giving it a shot.
I am not backing out. I am IN THIS!
Let’s Rock. \o/