In Praise of Folly



National Novel Writing Month countdown

My ever-practical sister and I have lurched through this dialogue so often I know it by heart. The conversation goes like this:

SHE: "Why would anyone want to do this?"

ME: "It's a personal challenge."

SHE: "Okay, but what's the point?"

ME: "To write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days."

SHE: (sighing, rolling her eyes, AND waving dismissively) "I know that! What do you get for doing it?"

ME: "If you do it, you win."

SHE: "You win what, exactly?"

ME: (giddy as a third grader who knows the answer) "Personal satisfaction!"

SHE: (eyebrows scrunching, does cartoon double-take) "What??"

(At this point, ME excuses myself and leaves the room.)

Admittedly, I do a piss-poor job of explaining all this to her. But you know how it is: she's my youngest sister. Despite basking in the glow of my brotherly wisdom for years now, there's no sign at all that she's seen the light. She still thinks I'm a doof.

So be it. I rise in defense of doof-ish folly.

Every great stride, every boundary-bashing, limit-stomping achievement swept through old barriers when someone shrugged off "sensible" and embraced a carefree, "Why not?"

Gate-crashers make history, wallflowers don't.

This November, NaNoWriMo (as it's collegially known amongst us NaNos) celebrates its tenth year of joyfully pitching the hopeful and unwary into "30 days and nights of literary abandon."

In real life terms, this is like checking yourself into a psych ward of your own making and locking the door behind you; a self-created reality show without the lovely parting gifts and fleeting celebrity spotlight. It's crazy fun.

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I'll be blogging about it here, cross-posting from my blog Vicious Bicycle.

Let's get busy.

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