nano and procrastination

Yesterday was the last day of the first quarter at school. What should I be doing right now? I should be assessing narratives and finalizing grades. What am I doing? Well, that's clear, isn't it? I'm writing a blog post.

Yesterday also began the month of November. There are several reasons this month is noteworthy: Thanksgiving (U.S.) occurs on the fourth Thursday, my sister will be turning 30 this year, and this month also marks the fifth year since my mother's death.

Oh, and it's National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMo is something I've known about for years, yet I've never thrown myself into participating. I think a large part of what's kept me from doing so is the fear of failure. I don't like setting myself up to fail. When I choose to take something on, I generally like to have the opinion that it's something I can handle. NaNo scares me. What if I say I'm going to do it but I can't?

Something I'm learning right now is that I have limitations as a human being. The lesson I seem to have to learn over and over is that I am not the general manager of the universe: If I beg off, the earth will keep spinning. My actions (or lack thereof) will not lead to the destruction of the entirety of existence.

I know this seems like a silly lesson to have to learn, but it's one that my brain oftentimes refuses to accept.

So, how does this tie in to NaNo? Simply this: I've decided to ignore the voice that cringes at the though of committing myself to writing 50,000 in 30 days, the voice that demands, "What if it's too much? What if you can't do it?" I'm attempting to change my mindset. What if I don't finish? For real? Will the NaNo cops come get me? Will I be shunned from society? Will my cats refuse to snuggle with me ever again? No. Of course not. If I don't hit 50,000 words by November 30, the world will still be here on December 1. Will I have failed at the challenge I set for myself? Sure. Is it that big a deal? No. Will I have more words written by then than I do now? I hope so.

So, here, I suppose, is to hope. And grace.

And now, I should get back to grading things so that I can spend time writing later today.

Wish me luck.


Is there something in your life you're putting off doing because you're afraid you might fail? What is it? Do you think you can be brave like me and attempt it anyway? I'd appreciate some company on my journey.