Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Second Year and It's Time to Rebel

Funny, when I was in my rebellious youth, I was never a rebel.  In the rebellious 1960's, I didn't join a student group against the Vietnam War.  Yes, I demonstrated, a couple of times for other causes.  Yes, I was a pain to my teachers at times (one compared me to Dorothy Parker and I'm thinking maybe he wasn't praising me).  Maybe one day I'll even blog about the day I went to our state capital with other high school demonstrators and the true education I got that day.

Instead, I wait until I am 60 to decide to be a rebel. 

Today is the first day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, a 31 posts in 31 day challenge I've taken (and completed) several times.  In fact, I've been blogging daily (with a lot of effort and more than a little luck) every day since late April of 2011.  So I can (cross fingers) promise you a daily post, with theme days on Wednesday (fall), Saturday (sustainable living), Sunday (the Civil War). On other days, you get what you get.  Like today.

In a month, it's time for another challenge, and I've been thinking hard about it.

There is a yearly writing competition called NaNoWriMo.  The purpose of the 30 day November madness of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is to challenge yourself to write 50,000. words in 30 days.  It is so difficult. I completed the challenge last year for the first time (writing a fictional memoir) and I sweated an ocean of liquid.  But the pep talks in NaNoWriMo?  The forums?  The virtual companionship? Priceless!  They made it all worthwhile.  And I'm thinking of joining the madness again.

The one rule in NaNoWriMo is that it has to be totally original (no pre writing prior to the November 1 start or editing already written manuscripts, although outlines for a brand new fiction work are fine), and it has to be fiction.  Other than that, you write 50,000 words.  You don't have to edit, although you can.  You just write and write and write and....well, you get the idea.  You drink tons of coffee.  You bite your nails.  You submit your manuscript to an automated system for official word count.  It's all on the honor system.  No one verifies you've obeyed the rules.

The fiction part is my problem.  I am not a fiction writer.  I like true stories.  I like history.  I like to write about what I know. Or, I write when I learn or experience something new.  And the only way I can write what I like to write is to be a "rebel".

NaNoWriMo does allow rebels.  If you write a movie script for NaNoWriMo, you're a rebel. If you write unrelated short stores, you're a rebel. Manga? Rebel.  How-to guide? Rebel. Writing via a blog? Rebel.  And nonfiction?


But the news isn't all bad.  You can rebel, and still participate. (There is cheating, but true rebelling is not cheating.  NaNoWriMo says so!  That's what I think, anyway, after a lot of research last night.  You can even declare your rebellion on the website.

So why shouldn't I slip out of the goody-goody role I've played all my life and rebel?

My second year and I'm already a rebel.  Breaking out of the mold. 

Are you ready to join me at NaNoWriMo?


  1. Alana,
    You are so convincing that I would almost sign on the dotted line after reading this. I'm participating in the blog challenge, and I've done NaNoWriMo once before, two years ago. It was exhausting, but you're right, it was also amazing! I've still got that rough draft in a file (she admits, guiltily) and maybe I'll pull it out and edit it in a rebellious way?? We could be rebels together! I'd say if rebelling against the rules helps you get closer to your goals, go for it, baby! (ducking head)

  2. I love the rebel in you! This world has room for all kinds of prose, viewpoints, and perspectives. You are truly a warrior to take on that challenge for a 2nd time. You almost have me convinced to take on a challenge of epic proportions...almost. Good luck!

  3. Yes you definitely are cut out for NaNoWriMo. I tried it many times, but I can never write enough! And how can you write fiction without a bit of history in it, am I right? (Ps I found your blog through the ultimate blog challenge)

  4. Hi Alana! I'm back to blogging and also doing the UBC again. ;-)

    I've thought about NaNoWriMo more than once - but like you, I'm just not really a fiction writer. I do, however, have a non-fiction story (based on a near-death experience from 1985 )that I have started writing --finally--and could use that rebellion status to write non-fiction instead of fiction!

    However, I will be away for the first 5 days of November, attending my daughter's destination wedding in Punta Cana, so I don't think NaNoWriMo is an option this year (or at least not the official one next month!)

  5. This is brilliant! Being a rebel sometimes is a good thing and if everyone wrote in the same way, literature would be very boring!


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