So November is upon us. I’ve never been entirely sure about the month of November. It’s a distinctly unremarkable month as months go. There’s no major festivals or celebrations. Sure there’s Bonfire night, which has fireworks and we all love fireworks I’m sure. But at the end of the day that, unlike July the 4th or Bastille day, isn’t about throwing off [perceived] shackles of oppression and embracing the glories of freedom. It’s essentially a celebration of one man’s complete and resounding failure to achieve just that. It is a testament and historical memorial to shoddy workmanship, poor planning and the inability of some people to just keep their mouths shut. My friend Mick goes as far to swear November to be a foul and cursed month, frequently espousing declarations of “nothing good happens in November.” But we get fireworks, large fires and jacket tetties wrapped in tin-foil and baked in the untempered fury of a ten foot high pile of blazing wood, so at the end of the day who gives a shit, we’re all happy. Except Guy Fawkes of course, damn he got a right going over.
So musings on the nature of the November beast aside, there are a few things happening this month which are worthy of note.
…Cometh the blind irrational panic.
It’s just over a week until the start of the slogfest that is NaNoWriMo and I must confess I’m slightly nervous. From a logical standpoint it seems easy enough. 1667 words a day you say? I know I’m easily capable of knocking out that many words in about half and hour. So logically I should be able to complete the entire thing in one 17 hour stint. The problem is however, that logic, is bullshit. Like many a perfect mathematical system constructed for scientific purposes it ignore several factors which twist and warp the result into something far, far different. In this instance it’s piddly little things like the need to sleep, eat, and occasionally re-equilibrate fluid levels. That and the ever threatening claws of The Funk, waiting to pounce on my unsuspecting creativity. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the glories of 55 words/minute, is the situation I frequently find myself in, where I have no idea where I’m heading, no idea what I want to write, or what words to use. A time where it can take as long as three hours just to force out 50 poxy words. This is what fuels my dread at the prospect of this undertaking.
Earlier this week I came to a decision, quite possibly a very foolish decision. I have decided, after much humming and harring, that this will be the first year I tackle the daunting behemoth that is NaNoWriMo. I have for many years had the intention of participating, but this is an intention I normally don’t remember until sometime around November 28th, but which point it’s a little bit on the late side, unless you’re the sort of madman (or madwoman, let’s not judge here) willing to write a minimum of 18 words every minute for 48 hours without a break of any form. I am not one of those types of madman, I am a completely different, but no less mad, type of madman. I do think that I am now in a better position to attempt it than I ever have been. Previously I’ve had trifling concerns like that degree thing I was paying several thousand pounds a year to do, or a job which demand I work 45 hour weeks and spend the remaining 67 hours, where I wasn’t asleep, gibbering in the corner. On top of that there was the pesky demands of being surrounded by people who did not consider “hermit” to be a valid life choice. And that despite being several miles away, through rain, sleet or snow, as well as being significantly more expensive, a pub, and not your bedroom was the best place to get drunk. Now I’m a graduate, with a fairly sane job, living in a strange and bewildering place where I know precisely no one.
It probably also helps that I’ve actually got an idea this year too.