In the Trenches
Hiya! I’m Aimee, AKA theAimeeMeester online when NaNo rolls around. I’ve participated in three official NaNos and five or six Camp months now, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. A friend told me when I was younger — I didn’t participate that first year I heard about it, but I stalked my writer friend’s progress, and after that, I was hooked. NaNo has become a yearly holiday for me, something I plan from December all the way through October. It’s a month of suffering so who knows why, but here we are.
For me, NaNo has become an experience that’s all about the people. Every year the writing community starts buzzing with life come autumn. We flail about our projects and laugh nervously and count down the days before the madness starts. And madness it is; 30 days of screaming, all-caps typing, late nights, and lots and lots of coffee. NaNo turns fairly “normal” writers into hermits hunched over their laptops at 2 in the morning, and best of all, we do it together. I look forward to the shared excitement, the word wars, the delight when a friend reaches their goal. I look forward to word wars and write-ins and long Twitter conversations where we all pretend to be writing but really end up procrastinating for hours on end. Writing is a solitary job by definition, but writing makes us feel less alone in it. It brings us together in our own special kind of insanity, and that’s the glory of it, whether you finish the 50k or not. It’s a month to be inspired by others, and sharing writing with people along the way has become my favorite part of the experience. I come back every year for the mad rush of words and the crazy that is doing that with a hundred other people. That’s what makes it worth it.
My motto for NaNo is to survive. Sometimes that’s all you can do. School and work and everyday life like to work against NaNo and make everything a little harder, doesn’t it? Sometimes the words don’t happen until you’d rather be sleeping. It’s easy to miss days, to take breaks, to wait for inspiration. When that mid-month slump comes, I like to remind myself that I’m here to win. I’m here to write words. And sometimes, the real win is learning how to sit down and type out those words even when they’re gibberish, or you don’t feel like it, or you’re tired, or you don’t know where the story is going. The secret to writing is, well, writing.
Keep it up. Embrace the madness. Keep on writing. And if you feel like taking a break from writing, you can find me skulking on my blog, aimeemeesterwrites.blogspot.com.
See you in the trenches!