Do you ever have those moments when seemingly disconnected or vague thoughts that have been floating around your head all of a sudden gel together into a clear path that you obviously must follow? That happened to me today. I was reading this post by the always-awesome Mel today, which references NaNoWriMo, and something just clicked for me. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, thousands of people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I'd heard of NaNoWriMo before, but never paid much attention to it, because that seemed a bit. . .ambitious. But today. . .I signed up to do it!
I have bits and bobs of writing stashed all over the place. I like to write. I constantly put together snatches of dialogue and imagine characters and plots and beginnings and endings. However, I don't actually end up with much. I overanalyze and tell myself that everything is crap, and I basically kill the piece before it even gets started. I am someone who wants to be good at everything I do. With writing, I want everything to be so perfect that I get nowhere. It's ironic, because producing nothing is the ultimate failure.But this month, I was reading something that really spoke to me about giving yourself permission to be less than perfect, and getting out there and doing what you want to do--that by simply giving yourself that permission, you free yourself up to accomplish far more than you otherwise might. Then, I had a funny conversation with my brother about his creative use of facial hair, which prompted me to think of a plot for a story (hey! wouldn't it be funny if. . .). Plus, I've been thinking about how I'd like to write more, and how I could carve more time out of my schedule to write. Then, I read Mel's post, in which she referenced NaNoWriMo. Cartoon lightbulbs went off over my head. I raced over to NaNoWriMo's website, read much of the material posted while the girls napped, then signed up. Hot damn!
So, I give myself permission to fail. I give myself permission to be less than perfect. I give myself permission to write utter crap. I give myself permission to do it simply for the joy of doing it. I give myself permission to give up, even.
There basically could not be a worse time for me to be doing NaNoWriMo. On Saturday (as in, September 27, as in five days from today), I am moving to a new city. On Monday (as in, September 29), I start a new job (which, er, also involves me brushing up on my Spanish, for that assignment that I have in South America next year). Miss M also starts preschool next week. Then NaNoWriMo starts on Thursday. It cannot possibly work out. But that is the beauty of it.