“30 days hath September…”
I get that far with the old rhyme, then have to stop and think what comes next. November rhymes with September so it hath 30… right?
Hmmm. A quick online perusal yields a website with 89 versions of the rhyme = not helpful when trying to unscrew a memory aid that I can’t remember! This is what I can recall: November is NaNo is 50,000 words written in 30 days. Got it.
November. In 2009 and 2010, November meant NaNoWriMo for me, an exhilarating ride of literary abandon, a seemingly impossible goal of verbal output. What lovely irony that attempting the impossible is so freeing of fear of failure. Liberating really, to be forced into writing for speed, which by necessity turns off the Inner Critic. If the Heckler is on duty, there simply are not enough hours in the day, even if you feed your kids Eggo Waffles for dinner and forgo luxuries like sleeping.
But, alas, no NaNo for me this year, for a variety of reasons. I have missed the experience off and on all month, but not more acutely than today, November 30th, when I can almost feel the exhilaration of rounding third, banging out 5000 words on the last day before skidding into home, face first, mouth full of dirt, submitting the manuscript by 11:07pm for the midnight deadline and holding my breath until the website confirmed that it indeed caught what I had just birthed as it hurdled through the ether. (I always get that visual when I hit the send button on my work, which I am guessing would be disturbing for the recipients if they knew.)
In my memory of prior years, NaNo is perfect. It provides the deadline I require for adrenaline driven output. Any arbitrary nature of that deadline is inconsequential when I am in the middle of it. It feels so good to just write without censorship, not bothered by little details like whether each paragraph actually makes sense. That is all sorted out later, because in November each day is just words on the page, pushing harder to squeeze them out of some small place inside that I did not even know was full of ideas because I was too busy thinking. Yes, 2012 NaNo? I’ll be back. (Luckily, the pain of NaNo is harder to remember…)
For now, I will embrace one aspect of the November NaNoWriMo experience into December and beyond: gagging that Heckler. You know the Heckler — the one that likes to curl up in a lumpy LazyBoy recliner in my mind, drooling with anticipation at each days’ spoils as she chews yesterday’s ideas, dribbling doubt onto every string of alphabet letters I dare to scrabble into sentences.
Yes, that Heckler.
Maybe you have met her brother or sister?
Yep, working my little word magic in peace without the sound of her breathing in the background — that is the dream for the days that come after the 30 days that November hath. Has. Whatever.