Yah, last year I jumped on the speeding wagon of NaNoWriMo and fell off almost immediately.
This year I won. I won!!!
What did you win?
I actually completed the first draft of my novel. Which leaves me with over 200 pages of crap to edit during the next few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m going to be the next J.K. Rowling. But I do think I’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting, joyful and fulfilled than a lot of people my age who have no other hobbies than gossiping, bitching and the occasional hangover.
Hobbies, interests, and stepping out into the world to be exposed to new ideas and different people helps to make us better people, or at the very least more engaged. Apathy after all is really not just the biggest sin against humanity, but it’s boring as hell. I daresay it’s even found lingering as the cord that connects the seven deadliest of sins.
So I met the goal of NaNoWriMo, got out to meet other writers in my community, and managed to inspire myself to think more intensely about the art and craft of storytelling. Which in turn turned me toward book reviews, essays and text books. And of course that led me to reading new books, articles and interviews by authors of very different ilks.
The win of NaNoWriMo is not simply the word count or the first draft, it’s actually keeping people engaged with a world bigger than just themselves. A world that ever more seems to be frightening, contentious and less likely to change just because we care.
If you’re not a writer, this definitely won’t be your thing, but you may find it via a few words on the page. If not, I beg of you to find it somewhere. Find something that makes you happy, interact with other people even more knowledgeable and passionate as you are, and make a difference in your little corner of the planet. Create your pocket of joy and goodness so that it spreads and connects to another. The world will thank you.