A letter to NaNoWriMo

Dear NaNoWriMo 2013,

–I’m scared.

I think the writing life constantly cycles between various stages of fear and excitement. Each year I do NaNoWriMo, it gets increasingly harder–as I’m getting older and moving into higher levels of education, schoolwork gets intense, life builds up, and right after I scale a mountain an even bigger one is there for me to climb.

And it’s three days ’till NaNo and I am so, so scared.

I have barely any plot. I know my story very, very well, but only on the most instinctive level. This is the story I have been getting the first seeds of since I was in eighth grade, the story based on the things I loved most, a dream of two lands; one frozen with ice and one glittering gold with power. There will be a brutal, ancient war and otherworldly, violent, savage creatures. It all sounds very lovely in my head right now.

But ultimately, I know it might splat. My friends and family think I’m possibly crazy for even attempting. On the outside, I wear my bravado–because what else do I have? How do I rightly justify myself in the eyes of society, a girl who weaves dreams and lies for fun and stays home, eyes worryingly intent on a manmade glowing contraption, fingers clacking out her childish fantasies instead of oh, I don’t know, STUDYING, maybe? How many hours of time and energy will I have to forgo to make it through another season? Might I turn into a zombie? Very valid questions, but I have no idea.

But then people say, “You can totally, like not do this.” And that’s possible, easy even, but

No way.

I will not quit. Not doing NaNoWriMo has never been on my mind (Ask me again in two weeks, please.) I gripe and moan and complain, but in the end, I love NaNo with all my heart because it made this girl write. It made this girl believe that she COULD write a novel in a month if she wanted to. It made her believe she could write a novel. And it DID make her write novels.

I will always be eternally grateful to NaNoWriMo. Because last year, when I suddenly decided that I wanted to do NaNoWriMo, three days before the event, it made me scramble for a plot and think…and think…

And I came upon a story that I absolutely, absolutely loved. And I’m going to start querying it, this January.

I love NaNoWriMo because of its go-go-go mentality, its encouragement to chuck caution to the wind and just create something, anything. I love it because it calls for exuberance and wild chaos, beautiful crap-dumping that would later be polished to stunning prose. It allows you to make mistakes, and not give a damn about it.

And I may question myself constantly, asking myself why I’m being a nutball and deciding to do this every year, but I will never quit because I love making stories, and the idea of not participating in this when I could have will hurt me 10x more than plugging through this month-long purgatory.

And I know that in a month, I’ll be so, so glad I did this.

As I stand on the bleak shore, staring out at the choppy, formidable waves, I pray to the NaNo gods for another successful season, and I hope my stubbornness can brave me through the rough tides.

This is it. Here we go.

Love,
Christina

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