The Writer’s Way (or Winging It NaNoWriMo Style)

Believe in the infinite possibilities we have in this world. Believe in the infinite possibilities you have within yourself to make the change you’ve always wanted seen.

Releasing all inhibitions, setting your fiery spirit free, telling your inner editor to pipe down and take a back seat for 30 days, I have officially signed up for the National Novel Writing Month in November, along with hundreds of thousands of participants all across the globe, with nearly 3,000 participants in my home city Chicago.

A frenzied, kamikaze, spirited approach to letting your inner novelist and author free, without constant regard to perfect grammar, punctuation, a nice wrapped up summary, plot, character development, and storyline, this will be a unique and thrilling challenge where quantity finally trumps quality.

The Worst Critic

We are often our very own worst critics.

We judge our work harshly. We think we write horribly, if at all. We believe we are poor public speakers, hence why it is the #1 top fear in America. We think we are slow readers, so we don’t even bother to pick up a book. We think we could be thinner, more fit, more toned, have more muscle definition. We feel we could be smarter, more intelligent. We believe we have a lot of traits, characteristics, and things we lack.

But have we acknowledged what we have? What we each have within us?

Do we give ourselves enough credit that yes, we are capable human beings, intelligent and thoughtful creatures, ones who are fully able to do great and magnificent things in this world? To be great and magnificent?

Do you believe that about yourself?

Take a moment, right now, whether that’s at your desk job churning frivolous reports, or on your iPhone, or on your laptop, or at the library, or on the train, to just sit still. And breathe.

Then, think. Think about how you truly have the inner power to do wonderful things, if you just believed in it.

You have the power and ability to clear out your decades-old storage closet full of useless junk and moldy, dust-covered boxes.

You have the power and ability to sing with your heart’s passion, though it may only be in your shower and not on American Idol broadcasted in front of millions of viewers.

You have the power and ability to create unique and creative works of art, be it with your photographs, your collages, your scrapbooking, your paintings, your pottery, your wood-making, your web design … your life.

You have the power and ability to write great works, be it a novel, an essay, poetry, or non-fiction. It all starts with the first word. And starting can be the hardest part.

Winging It NaNoWriMo Style

That’s why I’m decidedly winging it in November with my very first time participating in National Novel Writing Month.

I know it will be challenging and I will probably want to quit by day 10. That’s okay. This is normal.

I know I will want to pull my hair out and just itch to go back and fix all my mistakes, grammar, and punctuation. For once, I will finally allow my creative child within to be fully and unabashedly loose. Free.

No judges. No critics. No competitive peers. No need to worry about this being a profound and thought-provoking literary work of art to be sent off as a book proposal for the next New York Times best-selling book. Simply, no need for all this.

Then why do it? Why spend the next 30 days of my life writing as if my life depended on it?

Because it does. Writing, to me and perhaps some of you who are reading this, is our therapy. It is our passion. It is what we feel most at ease with. We enjoy it. We relish the time to just sit quietly by ourselves and pour out our thoughts, emotions, anger, frustrations, hopes, dreams, and aspirations onto the page in front of us. One word at a time. One sentence at a time. One paragraph, then chapter, then finally, an entire novel.

This challenge will be the end to the “One day, I’d like to write a novel” wishful thinking. That one day is now.

Will you join me on this epic writing adventure surely filled with frustration, excitement, and fulfillment?

If this is not the best time for you, no worries at all. You don’t need a national month devoted to writing freely. You can do this, starting today, right now.

And if you’re not a writer and prefer to spend your time pouring over books, then do it. Read.

And if you don’t enjoy reading or writing but would rather go out to the lake and fish by yourself for hours, sitting quietly amidst a calm body of water and watching the gentle ripples from your fishing line echo into infinity, then do it. Fish.

You see, it isn’t merely just “the writer’s way.” It is far beyond that.

Your Way, Your Challenge

It is, ultimately, your way. Your life. Your fervent dreams. Your passionate pursuits. Your hopes and desires you wish so badly to come to full fruition. To be realized before it is too late.

Do yourself a favor today and challenge yourself to do something you thought you never could do but have always liked to.

You would not believe the absolute power you have to do the “impossible.” Simply because “impossible” is just a mindset. My friend Joel Runyon is Mr. Impossible. He defies this word by setting his life as the example. When you believe anything in this world is possible, then it is.

Eliminate the word “impossible” from your daily vocabulary and take the challenge, take the plunge.

Believe in the infinite possibilities we have in this world. Believe in the infinite possibilities you have within yourself to make the change you’ve always wanted seen.

Just. Believe.