There are two types of people in this world:
- Those who like a well-ordered, disciplined life and
- Those who always crave excitement and a routine life bores them almost to death.
We will talk about the second group because the first group has everything planned out and doesn’t really need any further inputs. Mostly.
So the people who crave excitement try to find it in dangerous sporting activities such as bungee jumping, river rafting or even sky diving. The more adventurous ones even take it up as a profession. Such as bullfighting.
And if you are an Avenger or a Superpower-person, you get your thrills in kicking the a** of those mammoth antagonists that more often than advance towards you from the horizon, stomping over buildings and buses and scattering laypersons like ants whose piece of candy has been snatched away.
Those who cannot physically access these activities try to find excitement in activities like substance abuse and other type of addictions.
These are the Excitement-Junkies (EJ).
These activities can be life-threatening (except if you are an Avenger or Super-power person) and most of us don’t want to lose our lives in pursuit of excitement. What options do most EJs have, then?
Here is where NaNoWriMo comes in.
Photo Credit: NaNoWriMo
If you are a creative person and ever felt the call to write a novel (which is also why you are reading this article), the ‘Deadline’ is the device that will bring to you all the excitement of a battle without endangering your life.
30 days of writing, a minimum word count, not doing your daily minimum, the word-backlog piling on, the approaching deadline and the thrill of validating your novel a few minutes before 11:59pm on 30th November. Slaying a dragon couldn’t give you this kind of a high. EJs of the world, rejoice.
Conversely, writing to a deadline is also ‘being in a Zen state’ or ‘being in the moment.’
Okay, let us try an experiment.
Open a New Word doc. Or a blank page in your notebook.
Now write 500 words of a story using these words:
crash, crumpled paper, straw, gravel, ochre.
There is no time limit. Begin now.
Finished? Not yet? Why?
Okay, let that go.
Open another New doc or blank page, as the case may be.
Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes. Ready?
Now, using these words: social worker, mop, hotel room, beeper, write a story of 500 words within 15 minutes, beginning NOW.
With a deadline looming ahead, your inner editor does not get an opportunity to barge in with its deprecating words. And with limited time at your disposal to finish the story your mind gets totally involved in the task, relegating all extraneous thoughts to the back- burner. Isn’t that what meditation is all about. And really, if after a gap of time, say a few days or months, you read what you have written, you’d be quite pleasantly surprised. “Have I written this?” is one of the most common expressions that describe what you feel.
But if words like meditation confuse or scare you, then consider deadline being the weapon that can wipeout the curse of “one day.” According to Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, the world is full of “one day novelists” – those people who proclaim to the world that ‘one day, they will write a novel.’
That day is the 1st of November. Get ready for it.
P.S. The prompts given above are from http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/ It is a very good idea to write to prompts (within a time deadline). This exercises both both your physical and mental creativities. Try it.
More about physical creativities next week.
Hopefully, you have signed up at NaNoWriMo already. If you are on Facebook, check out the Wrimo India Page too.
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