That's where NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - comes in. Every November, NaNoWriMo participants challenge themselves to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. There's no cash prize for the winner, just the satisfaction of having met a goal. It's an exercise in persistence and creativity that can demonstrate what you're capable of.
Those who work or have small (or midsize) children or a bunch of animals or one of those needy, attention-seeking houses that's forever coming up with reasons you and it must spend time together, well, they generally aren't able to commit the time necessary to write a novel. But just 30 days is a fairly doable span. Other things can be back-burnered or reasoned with, since it's only a month. And after November is over, it's back to being Joe Citizen, except now Joe has thousands of words under his belt. Words they can edit and hone and polish a little at a time if they want. In just 30 days, the novelist dream can become tangible, can be using up space on the hard drive or filling a notebook or two.
The truly cool thing about doing NaNoWriMo is all the drama you get to attach to your project, the messes you can justify making, the excuses you'll have for locking yourself away and being antisocial and smelling bad and getting all wild-haired and maniacal-looking.
For some, there's a magical power in deadlines, in having a goal attached to a specific date on the calendar. Regardless of whether that novel is publishable, setting a challenge for your self and coming through it is a positive thing. You'll have something to show for it.
And I really need something to show for it. Since I still don't have a desk.
After deglossing and sanding and staining; after rubbing down the first finish and adding another; after tightening the legs, re-gluing a loose drawer, waxing the drawer-slides and oiling the hinges, there was still one thing I forgot.
To measure the desk.
It was too wide to fit up our stairs.
Reach Karin Fuller at karinful...@cnpapers.com.