NaNoWriMo. In the words of the site: "On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30."
This will be my fifth year as a Wrimo. I finished the 50,000 words three out of the previous four years but have no hope or intention of doing so this year. I will, however, do what I can and have thought of a trick to write lots of words really fast so I get a respectable amount written before the end of the month. The trick? Write nonfiction in a personal essay style about my own experiences. Easy.
Here's a very rough draft (i.e. I can't spell) of some of what I've done so far. Wish me writerly time and luck for the coming month! And good luck to all you Wrimos out there doing the same!
...at the beach that summer, it was all to do with rebellion--one of the many tiny rebellions that would one day add up to a complete turning around. The first little rebellion started out with a bad word in a song on a cd I liked. I won’t mention the artist as they’re pretty awful and that would be embarrassing, yes, even more embarrassing than previously admitting to pooping in the tub while my best friend was in there, but that summer this particular band was trending and the guy on the cd was good-looking, so I was into it. Really into it. More importantly, I didn't mind the "bad" word and thought it was the best choice, lyrically, for that topic and moment. Okay fine, it was a Creed song. Shut up.
Anyway, so my boyfriend at the time disapproved deeply. He was a perfect physical stand-in for the beliefs I followed. Though he had started me out on similar music, he'd since reformed and therefore thought such things were a negative influence on the mind. It’s a funny concept because there is something to it--the idea that putting in a lot of negative things means negative things will eventually come out, or the opposite with positive things. The problem comes in deciding what’s negative and what’s positive and in the person themselves. Take my husband, for example. He’s so incredibly, maddeningly level, he could watch the worst of the worst movie with gruesome scary horrible disturbing downright evil images, and happily eat bbq and shrug while it’s on. It's not real, he'd say. It simply doesn't get to him. Plus he really likes bbq. You probably know similar people. Well I’m not one of them, and maybe my boyfriend knew it. Maybe he knew how susceptible I was to suggestion and he was afraid I’d go where I did eventually go, out of his arms, in part due to some shitty music waking me up to how arbitrary “good” and “evil” had become in our circle.
We were a lot of us that way then, coming out of adolescence and into early adulthood, not sure what we believed or why or what to do next. I now know this is a common occurrence, though we had our idiosyncrasies for our time and place. Still, I thought it was a special thing happening to me and me alone.
I don’t go to church and have no feeling of dread, regret, or bitterness about the issue. Nor do I have negative feelings toward those whose belief takes them on that path. My church-going friends respect me and I them, for the most part. But in the beginning, it was a struggle between the ills I knew and the ills I knew not of. Now the ills I knew not of aren't ills at all: they're my life. And I feel more in touch with truth than I ever did then. The breakups and unoriginal music required to get me there were well worth the trip...