We love our races in Oz and November is significant on the racing calendar with the running of The Melbourne Cup – the race that stops the nation. This November I discovered the race that gets the nation going – the novel writing nation, that is.
Yep! NaNoWriMo – it turns out – has all the thrills and spills of a great race. It can be exhilarating and exhausting, dangerous and disheartening, excruciating and enriching.
At the end of the first straight, we discover this race is not so straightforward after all. It’s now a steeplechase of unexpected hurdles and challenging jumps. As we cross the week one finishing line, we feel slightly overwhelmed but still focussed on one thing – numbers.
Week 2 - is definitely about numbers. It’s like being part of the mad mob in Sydney’s City to Surf fun run.
Speaking of animals, you’ll also find the gorilla suit guy – a little crazy for thinking he can do it, but giving it his best shot and having fun – after all, that is the aim of the race.
Again, week two starts off strong, although it’s not long before the pack thins.
Some give up.
Some fall over when they realise they’re not serious or prepared enough this time around.
Others hang on until Heartbreak Hill – and oh, the pain!
You set a feverish pace, heart pumping, back aching, such pressure! The mob eggs you on, but they are passing you to the left and to the right. You try The Little Caboose method, “I think I can. I think I can...”
Do you quit?
Simply let the race go on around you, stay focussed and stay on track.
Should you? The race rules say this is a no-no. But do you really have to follow the rules?
Not always. Look at the iconic Beetle. Volkswagen suddenly stopped and switched the engine from the back to the front. Now it’s better than ever. So yes, go crazy. Break a few rules and get back in the race because the best is yet to come.
So grab those reins, hold on tight, have fun, keep those revs up and avoid seasickness by keeping an eye on the November 30 horizon.
Jenn J McLeod