No one can be grumpy on the first day of Nano- a sacred holiday to all writers who dream of these crazy months throughout the rest of the year. It simply could not be a bad day, no, I refused to allow it- not when my boss and I realized we had locked ourselves out of our offices immediately upon arrival, nor when the recording system decided that I was only entitled to snapshot pictures of the hearing I was supposed to be watching. No, it was not even a bad day when the wedge on my favorite pair of brown work shoes wiggled free and hung listlessly from my foot, threatening to dislodge at any moment (RIP little shoe, we had a good run- no pun intended). Today nothing can put me in a bad mood because I am officially embarking on yet another great adventure. The mentally testing, caffeine overdosing, chocolate-eating, Thesaurus wielding monster that is Camp Nano.
Three days ago I was ready to take my project and burn it- too cliché, too predictable, the plot wasn’t working correctly and my main character was missing her spark. Two days ago I readjusted my plot, but was spiraling into a moderate panic attack because I was not nearly as prepared as I expected. I had the best of intentions when I started prepping in June, but life inevitably finds a way to skew even the most thought out plans. One day ago I had moved on to the stage of acceptance. I was okay with the ragged holes in my plot and lack of details in my character analyses. I would sort them out as I worked, add a dash of pantsing to my plan. And then last night I endulged myself in the last Netflix marathon I will partake in for a very long time. Irresponsible, I know, I had a laundry list of other things I should have been working on. But the pull of the latest Orange is the New Black season proved too strong for me. I regret nothing- it was awesome. You should watch it (well, you know, next month after Nano- it could be a good reward). When I woke up today I was filled with a slightly nervous enthusiasm (the enthusiasm vasty outweighed the nerves).
Sadly, I couldn’t jump straight into a midnight start- even though I was so excited I was still wide awake when the clock struck. But alas, I knew my alarm would be singing me the song of it’s people at 5:30am and I would have a long day of work ahead of me covering in a new department. So I channeled my inner adult and fell asleep instead. Boring, I know, but I strongly believe that my boss appreciated the gesture. Besides- karma seemed to be favoring me today, I was even allowed to leave two and a half hours early today (don’t get too excited, it was time I earned for staying late earlier in the week), but what a perfect day for that return payment to find me.
So here I sit, perched on the cusp of this new story and hoping that this will be the year for miracles. Day one of any new project is always a day of magic and unspoken promises. It is the day that the story in your head, the one that has kept you awake at night, becomes tangible, built out of nothing more than ink and paper. It is yours, wholly and truly belonging to you and no one else. It is your soul translated on the page. Day one holds the excitement that you will crave when you reach day 14. Don’t forget how it feels today- when your fingers are flying, your mind is fully immersed in the scene before you, and the words cant slip from your pen fast enough. Remember today when the excitement wears off, when you are struggling through the trenches right beside your characters, when the story isn’t sounding the way you had thought. Remember today and be proud because you were brave enough to do this. You have created an entire world with the click of a few keys, you are a writer. You don’t have to be published to call yourself that, you just have to keep on picking up that pen (or opening that laptop, as the case may be). Tell the world your story, you will be amazed at how many people will turn to listen.
Today will be a beautiful day. Today we celebrate the first day of our new worlds, the birth of the characters we will learn to know better than we know ourselves. Today we embark on an adventure together. Happy Nano, my friends, and may the odds be ever in your favor.