Monday, November 15, 2010


So there I was, minding my own business when two things happened almost simultaneously. Within a couple of days of each other, one of my sons called to give me a "pep-talk" about writing . . . something I've neglected lately for a variety of reasons---and not too long after that enlightening chat, my brother called to encourage me to enter a competition called NaNoWriMo. I'd never heard of this particular delight before (don't make fun) but it sounded intriguing.

My brother went on to say that he and his wife had both tried this adventure a couple of years ago, and had enjoyed it immensely. He challenged me to sign up that very night (October 31) while I was talking to him on the phone. I think he suspected I would bail after our phone chat. ;) He was probably right. So he guided me through the process of signing up. After that, we discussed a few other items, then I hung up the phone. Curious about what I had just committed myself to do, I tried to sign in . . . and my user name and password weren't recognized. I figured that was a sign and shrugged the whole thing off.

The next morning, I was stunned to find a plethora of e-mails from the NaNoWriMo group in my e-mail inbox. Somehow, despite the glitch, I was a full-fledged participant in this year's competition.

I tried to sign on, and ran into the same problem with the e-mail and password scenario. So I valiantly persevered and made a couple of changes. Suddenly, I had access to my own personalized screen with instructions on how to participate in this year's event.

Filled with a new determination to follow this through (the old "if my brother can do it---I can too," philosophy) I began typing away. At first, it was like trying to break through a brick wall. But knowing this particular manuscript didn't have to be perfect, nor please anyone else, I kept typing. Soon I had my first 5 thousand words. What a feeling of accomplishment.

I'm currently at the halfway mark at nearly 25,000 words. I'm intent on completing this endeavor, and the story I started a couple of weeks ago is taking shape nicely. I may even submit it somewhere someday.

I think periodically as writers, we hit a brick wall. Some writers refer to it as writer's block. Thank heavens inspiring challenges like this can help us through this obstacle. I would say the NaNoWriMo event that takes place yearly, is indeed a writing vehicle that can jump-start our creativity.

While it's too late to sign up for this year's event, I would encourage anyone interested in the writing world to participate in next year's event. Here is the link:NaNoWriMo

Incidentally, I've learned that NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which takes place each November. I've been impressed with how many writers take part in this event. And I, for one, will more than likely tackle it again next year. ;) Now . . . back to my budding masterpiece . . .

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