Sunday, November 3, 2013

The post none of you asked for!

Today is the third day of Nanowrimo (http://nanowrimo.org).  Every year, there is an online challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November, presumably using the time you'd spend shaving.  I get the itch to write around this time of year, and the fact that it's Nanowrimo time is a bit of motivation for me.  Despite my laziness, I do feel a need to write.  When I arrive to work early, I take the time to send one of my friends a 'just because' email that's filled with wit and humour (they agree with me that it's wit and humour, at any rate. It's more likely to be caffeine filled drivel, similar to the blog.)

I logged in recently, and my profile indicates that I've been a member for six years.  This is an impressive badge to carry, particularly given that I've written exactly zero books, and submitted 0 words to my word count for all years combined.

The webpage is pretty.  It's got the two shades of blue, with the dark brown writing, very stylish.  It has a crest that's cartoonish, but nice and crisp.  That incredibly trendy, kinda hipsterish* look that actually makes me want to gouge my eyes out.  As I said, it's a nice website, and it runs smoothly, which is actually the most important feature.

The top of the page reads "the world needs your novel."  I actually have two issues with this sentence:

1.  Don't blow smoke up my ass.
2.  The world needs a lot of things.  It needs me to pay attention when I'm at work.  It needs me to pay my taxes, and be a good citizen.  What it genuinely doesn't need is another novel.**

The site then boasts 259,261 novelists.  Provided that I'm one of those, I can only assume their definition of 'novelist' is looser than a Florida retirees sexual mores.

It is usually at this point during an angry rant I remind myself that "it takes all kinds."*** If everyone in the world were like me, nothing would get done.****

Herein lies the real truth.  The amount of willpower I have is embarrassingly small. 

Pictured: My willpower.  Enlarged to show texture.
If our attitude towards willpower were the same as our attitudes towards penises, I would have the coolest convertible in my city.  As a small example, I didn't sit down to write this post until after I convinced myself I needed a tomato sandwich, which meant I had to go buy bread and I didn't even stop at the first store, but kept driving because I really liked the song that was on the radio.  I think Nanowrimo interests me, because it feels like maybe there will be an outside force pushing me to write, but where's the pressure?  A bunch of people I don't really know are going to judge me (not even me, because I've used a different screenname.)  Without the consequences, there's just no pressure.

Truth be told, a large part me - including when I'm in a fantastic mood - feels that Nanowrimo is for people who do not have full time jobs and responsibilities outside of those jobs..  If we genuinely think about it, it boils down to about 6-7 pages per day (50,000 words divided by 30 days = 1,666.6666and-so-on, divided by, say 250 words per page = 6.66666and-so-on pages per day).  Actually, it seems reasonable, but when you consider that includes weekends, and someone like me is in front a computer all day at work.  Then we can play with it again, and say "what if you just did it on weekends?" which totals 23.333333and-so-on pages per day on the weekend.

What if I were to cut the goal in half, just to get things off the ground (so, only write 25,000 words)? Well, yes, but then we're back to our previous concerns of consequences.  And I don't make the kind of money this guy does, to pay someone to keep me on point.

I need someone to slap me.



*Every time I use the word Hipster, I have a creeping sense that the damn definition has changed again. "You can't define us, man."  Fuck you.
**Someone should tell Iceland.  In actuality, I love that news story, no matter how crabby I am. 
***This is a whole other phrase I can rant about for hours.  You complain to your friend about the way someone does something, and they shrug and say "it takes all kinds," effectively dismissing your complaint without any analysis of potential issues.  It's a polite "shut up, asshole."
****Also, there would be more car accidents; I'm not the best driver.
 


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