Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Big Scary Year 2007

Let me sing to you once more of NaNo and the transformative power of the hive. Imagine, if you will, a group of strangers coming together to support each other just so they can win a competition with themselves. That's the NaNo boards. It's a great place - you can still sign up and take part if you want although it's only most active every November as you might expect. Like the whole idea of writing a novel from start to finish in the span of a month it's a place that encourages, revels, in the crazy. In the mad idea that, yeah, you can do it. Whatever it is for you. However you want to get it done. If you just apply yourself. It's a great place full of great people and I'm glad to say I've managed to stick around there even though last year's NaNo is gone and this year's is oh so far away. It's just a place where I can hang around with other people who worship at the altar of creativity. Who strive and struggle and try because....well, because making something, anything, feels better than not making anything at all.

The other day I got a letter in the mail from the Offices of Letters and Lights, the company they've established to run the NaNo foundation. It was for the donation I'd made. Actually, the one I'd had made in my name in lieu of a gift. I'd already donated myself earlier. Anonymously both times, of course, because I'm not looking for credit or anything just to give something back to a place and a project that's brought me no end of satisfaction. Neither was very much, though, and if I had more to give, I would. But having a few less drinks or a less expensive meal for a few weeks is worth lending them whatever support I can. Inside the letter was nothing more than a little booklet containing a short story entitled "The Donor Who Changed the World", a brief note of thanks from the NaNo staff, and a temporary tattoo which I'm going to be saving for a special occasion. It was nice and I chuckled over it a bit before putting it in a place of honor.

And promptly forgot about it. Because, you see, as much as I've been trying to keep the adrenaline rush of NaNoWriMo going the truth is I haven't been feeling it lately. It's been getting harder and harder to put that inner editor aside. Everyone has an inner editor - it's that voice that tells you that what you're doing isn't good enough, isn't well done enough, and isn't right. Some how and some way. So, lately, I've gotten this depressingly sane idea that what I've been doing - in many different ways - is worthless and, well, I shouldn't bother. I've stopped writing (creatively), I spend a lot less time hanging around the NaNo boards, and that feeling that, yeah, I can has almost vanished.

So the mad rush of creativity's been fading but the other day sitting in my mailbox was this. Another mad idea from the Offices of Letters and Light. Everyone makes New Year's resolutions or decides to embark on some grand adventure or ambitious project only to find it fading away into wherever it is lost dreams go. But, apparently, they think if we share them and encourage each other some of us might actually get them done. I was in a rush so I didn't give it much thought. But today, I hit the NaNo boards and, lo and behold, there's a thread already stretching page after page of people taking up the challenge and running with it. It's amazingly, it's energizing, and I'm taking my part. Here's my list of adventures:

  1. Finish a story. For once.
  2. Sculpt something. Again.
  3. Go back to school and get a new degree.
  4. Take a math class. And ace it.
  5. Earn a spot in a top 100 guild.
  6. Take part in the Script Frenzy.
  7. Get in better shape.
  8. Get a better job.
  9. Keep going on the blog.
  10. Stop making lists. Start making progress.
I hope you have one of your own. Almost as much as I hope I can cross a few items off, eventually. It's going to be a scary year. Maybe even a big year. But it's already turning out to be fun.

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