In about thirteen hours, I’ll be officially going insane. Again.
I know, I know. If you already know me, you’re thinking, “Wait, didn’t that happen sometime around 1981?”
Sure, the first time. But I’m talking about that temporary insanity, that yearly foray into crazyhood known as National Novel Writing Month (known to the rest of the normal world as “November”). (See nanowrimo.org for more information or to join in the insanity.) November starts in thirteen hours, and although other folks are trick-or-treating and dressing up as clowns or princesses or Barack Obama or other equally frightening things, I’ll spend part of the day polishing my minimal planning for this year’s novel, waiting for the imaginary starting gun at the stroke of midnight. It’ll mean typing 50,000 words on a new fiction project sometime between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. That’s about 1,667 words per day, every day, if you write the same amount every day. Which I don’t. I tend to skip a few days out of distraction and then scurry to catch up by hooking up an I.V. of essential fluids and a catheter to release those fluids and writing for hours on end while family members whisper behind my back and plot to have me committed.
I’ve participated in this yearly ritual every November since 2004 … and I’ve “won” every year too. If you think that makes me over-confident, though, you’re wrong. If anything, it feels like a whole lotta pressure. Will this be the year that beats me to a pulp? Will this be the one time I can’t keep up? Will I sprain a pinky folding laundry on Day Two and not be able to type properly for three weeks? You know: the obvious questions at a time like this.
Does it help that I have a ton of freelance projects staring me in the face right now (and I usually don’t)? No.
Does it help that I have a bunch of engagements outside the house this first two weeks that will interrupt my alone-time? No.
Does it help that hubby has a routine screening procedure tomorrow morning (known to me as Day One, the Day of Momentum) that will mean both of us being out of the house for hours? No.
Does it help that we are in the throes of perhaps the biggest house move either of us has ever made, with paperwork and phone calls and inspections coming out our ears this month? No.
Does any of this deter me from attempting the impossible for an eighth year in a row?
The word processor is ready. The AlphaSmart Neo is ready. The Acer netbook is ready. The two desktop computers are ready. Even the IBM Selectric typewriter is ready. Year Eight will not beat me.
BRING. IT. ON.