National Novel Writing Month is a mission.
50,000 words in thirty days isn't easy. When you think about how many that is, when put into perspective, it's not a dismissive proposition. Several examples of books that sort of length include The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Fight Club, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Notebook and Of Mice And Men. Can you imagine writing any of those in a short month?
I mean sure, there are some people that make it look easy. Once upon a time I smashed out three in one November, but then - I was unemployed, I had literally nothing else to do in any given day, and I was a complete recluse. I find now that living day to day, having responsibilities and such, it's not as easy.
I am ahead of quota, thankfully. At the same time, that's primarily because I've had the last two weeks off work. From now on I am going to be taking every hour I can get, which means that lead is going to probably vanish - and this isn't a story that is going to be finished on Word 50,000.
The entire point of NaNoWriMo is to turn writers from one-day writers (one day I'll write a book) into people who have written one, or at least, tried. It works, because frankly - it is good to have a goal, and a time frame to achieve that goal in. It's good to have a mission, a task, an overarching drive in life that isn't just pay bills and expire.
And isn't that what we all need? Something to look forward to? A goal to reach, an objective to achieve, a mission to accomplish? Isn't that what life should have, and should include?
It can. It's up to us to make that happen. This is one of the ways I choose to do it, and frankly it kind of keeps me sane as the month gets colder and the night gets darker.
I know that everyone has different things they do, different things they look forward to. One man's trash and so on. I think it's important to have those things, because frankly - a lot of life is kind of shitty. We have to jump through a lot of hoops just to be fed and sheltered. If we're lucky enough to work somewhere we enjoy working, that makes it easier, but still - goals are good. Goals just for us.
A lot of people set these goals as self-improvement, which I have talked about from time to time. If - after really examining ourselves, really being honest with ourselves - that is what we need, then why not? But we have to make sure that is the case. Media and marketing does a great job of convincing us that what we need to fill that gap in our lives is X, which is whatever product has paid for this thirty seconds of our time. Don't get suckered in. Don't let that shit run you.
Have a mission. Pursue an objective. Set a goal.
Even if you don't make it, you may feel better just for having tried.