It’s November, which means it’s also National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo for short. During this time hundreds of thousands of wonderful lunatic take on the task of writing an entire novel in one month. I have never participated in this event…because it’s freaking nuts. But I do love to support all those taking on this challenge and pursuing their dreams. I usually write a little pep talk each year but this year I did something different. I wrote a poem, in the style of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven.” Because that seemed like a good idea late last night.
Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo’s, this is for you:
As you sit there never sleeping, at your keyboard often weeping,
Piling up your word count like a Herculean chore,
Late at night your face is scowling, while empty stomach it is growling,
You might sense something prowling, prowling at your cranium’s fore.
“My lack of sleep,” you’ll say, “is causing pain upon my cranium’s fore-
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, what madness is November, every NaNoWri club member,
Lumbering like zombies as more coffee they do pour.
Wishing that the month was through, insanely they do all pursue,
A novel’s word count to accrue, accrue it in one month’s time and no more.
For all you at this task for just one month and then no more,
Please, closely heed verse five and four.
Late at night your tale grows stronger, while your face it does grow longer,
Fingers typing cross the laptop from your computer store.
As I mentioned, while you’re clacking, at the keys so madly tapping,
You might feel a distant rapping, rapping at your cranium’s fore.
Preying on your weakness as it raps upon your cranium’s fore,
There comes a monster with fearsome roar.
A word-count halting terror. Your project’s grim pall bearer,
Snorting and laughing at the plot holes you ignore.
Quickly moves this horrid beast, neither fettered nor policed,
Till your dreams lie there deceased, deceased and turned to ash upon the floor.
Your heart and dreams and vision turned to ashes on the floor.
The beast has fed, you’ll write no more.
Do take heed this warm advice, I’m trying quite hard to be nice,
Though I scare you with this monster slavering at your door.
You’re not alone here is my point, and this beast should not disjoint,
In fact he does anoint, anoint you to the club of writers all through yore.
This beast has crushed the spirits of every writer heretofore,
Its name is “Doubt” (we’ve met before).
So I demand that you take heart, as you practice at your art,
Wringing out your story like a soldier gone to war.
Proudly steel your trembling jaws, as you take on Doubt’s cruel claws,
Knowing that he gnaws, gnaws on you as well as all who came before.
Face him down, it is your right, not a task to be deplored.
Trust in yourself, and let your artwork soar.