What Writing One Thousand Six Hundred and Sixty Seven Words a Day Is Like

At first it’s awful. Because you think you aren’t funny at all.

And then you accept not being funny. Which makes everything ok and somehow you manage to be funny again.

And then you skip a day. Which is fine, these things happen.

But then you skip another day. And you pretend that’s fine too. You can make it up on the weekend- in the words of the youth “Whatevs”.

And then the weekend arrives and you realize you have to write eight thousand words and you’re all

“This is the end of my life!”

And then you get bedsores from sitting in your kitchen chair, not moving and staring at a computer screen. So you vow never ever, ever to get behind again.

For a little while you don’t. And you even get used to writing THAT MUCH every single day, day in day out.

It becomes a thing that you do. Other people have fun lives in the evenings and you write.

But then something happens again and you miss a day. Which is ok, these things happen, it’s just sixteen hundred words, why you banged that out in under two hours last night, no biggie, break it up over a couple of days.

True to your word, you do makeup a little bit writing twenty one hundred words the next day. But then, oh that nasty life, it happens again. And suddenly you find yourself staring down the barrel of five thousand words for one weekend.

So like any good person you put it off. Until seven pm when Canada has become a cold, dark, horrible foreboding place that’s going to sit on your chest and feed you the monthly writing challenge until you cry and churn out the necessary words.

For such a polite country Canada can be a dick sometimes.

So you write words. And you don’t like them. So you write more words. And you like some of them. Then you email your friend who tells you to keep going. So you write about cupcakes because who doesn’t love cupcakes then you look at the screen and think “My God why am I writing about cupcakes?”

That’s what National Novel Writing Month is like. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get up and stretch because my butt is numb.

*I didn’t actually get bedsores. It just felt like I did. I’m fairly certain my butt has retained the shape of my wooden chairs though.

NaBloWriMo Is Making My Thighs Cramp Up

I’m not running but I’m in a marathon. I know this because once upon a time I actually ran those distances; Halfs, 30 kilometers, Fulls. I ran them all so I know how the experience feels.

The only thing one needs to know about running a full marathon is that it’s long. Picture the longest thing in the world. Marathons are longer than that. Conjure up your most unpleasant memory. Marathons are just like that, but longer.

There are a couple of reasons why people run 26.2 miles. One is to lose weight. This is not a good reason to run; I never lost an ounce from marathons. The other is more subtle but deeply satisfying, it’s the ability to walk in to work the Monday after, the race bling that a volunteer carefully placed around your neck at the end of 42.2 kilometers glinting proudly on your chest and casually say to a coworker “What did you get up to this weekend?”

And then the ability to reply when the same question is posed back to you, “Oh me? I just ran a marathon, your weekend sounded fun though, watching three seasons of Friends in one day, that sounds like something you’ll be proud of years from now.”

But that’s just me. And sometimes I’m a smug jerk. However that is the reason that propelled my butt across more than a dozen race courses. And through even more training runs.

The last reason is less self-righteous but equally subtle. As I mentioned before marathons are long. Endless. There are countless places where you want to give up and just walk. Or perhaps lie down and die. But somehow you keep going through the pain, through the endless kilometers, through the defeating headwind. Afterwards, when sitting alone with your banana, when everything, even your back hurts you can smile to yourself and quietly say “I did that”.

Yesterday I sat down and wrote 1,770 words as a part of NaNoWriMo. It was long. It was hard. I didn’t like a lot of what I wrote. But the important part was that I did it. Today I have to keep writing, even when I feel like I don’t have any more content. However after thirty days of this, I know one thing for certain; sitting alone with a banana and my computer on December 1st, reading over all that I produced is going to feel awesome. If only it came with a medal.