Trying New Things

Science abounds with research detailing the benefits of trying new things to increase your brain’s power & capacity.  Anything from puzzles, to learning a new language, to taking a different route home from work every now & then; all are purported to help strengthen your gray matter.  Some studies have even found that by doing so, you extend the length of your life.  This is my topic today, because I see that NaNoWriMo is upon us again.

For those of you not in-the-know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The goal, according to their website, is to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.  They’re not concerned about the quality of the project; it’s merely a goal to get people writing.  Designed to help authors break out of the endless tweaking & perfecting that stumps many of us mid-way through our manuscript(s), NaNoWriMo gives us permission to write “a lot of crap”, even calling it “a good thing”.

This will be the first year that I partake in NaNoWriMo.  And while it’s a contest, it’s one that every registered person will win, provided that they write 175 pages.  You are on your honor to write more than just one word or phrase multiple times to achieve the goal (“All work & no play…” won’t work here), but otherwise, anything goes.   The perfectionist in me is worried about how this book will sound when I’m done, but the creators of the contest have already given me permission to stink up the joint, so . . . why not?  Also, the fact that nobody will be reading this book (you upload your story to the computer which calculates the word count & then promptly deletes it) helps take some performance pressure off of me.

I’ve had a lot of firsts this year with regards to writing:  I’ve queried agents for the first time, I’ve attended my first conference, I’ve made my author’s website, & have published my first short story on it.  I’m not sure if all of these things will help enhance my cranial capacity, but I definitely feel like I’m growing as a person, & as scary, confusing, & problematic as that can be, I know it’s beneficial.  For one thing, it’s helping me to expand my “comfort zone”.  For another, it’s reinforcing my ability to face my fears.

Every single new thing I’ve done in 2010 has been a lesson in overcoming my fears.  Some were easier to overcome than others, but all have made me a stronger person for having faced them.

If you don’t plan to register for NaNoWriMo, I encourage you to at least try one new thing in November.  If the prospect of it scares you, even better!  I can promise you that you will gain much from the experience.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dana
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 13:21:42

    Won’t be registering for that, but I WILL be trying to finish to 50K novel in record time. Just don’t want to register! Trying new things is always a good idea…

    Reply

  2. Maddy
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 13:47:07

    Aha! I’ve registered and will be having a go also – I have an attack of the jitters just thinking about it, but it’s been a rough year so I’m ready [to try] and take up the challenge.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Oct 29, 2010 @ 13:50:52

      Dana & Maddy – I’m definitely leery of registering myself…there’s a certain amount of pressure I feel, knowing I have a month to write this thing. But again, that’s why I gotta do it . . . to face the fear!

      Thank you both for stopping by, & good luck to you on your books!

      Reply

  3. Kaye George
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 20:48:19

    Good luck with Nano, Alyx! Get some ice ready for your wrists. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Diane Vallere
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 08:48:40

    I love the concept of trying new things to grow, and applaud all of your efforts over the past year. Every step you take gets you one step closer to where you want to be.

    Good luck wtih Nano!

    Reply

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