I went to a NaNoWriMo catch-up session yesterday here in San Francisco. For those of you who are not familiar, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place annually in November. Participants take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I have taken on this challenge.
Following this NaNoWriMo catch-up session, I am back on track to finish by November 30th, (I had gotten a little behind in the preceding days). I’m glad that I’m caught up; but I’m even more glad that I went to a group writing session. It was so much more fun than writing 3,000 words by myself. We wrote for 1.5 hour-long segments and took breaks in between to chat and talk about writing. It was great!
Now, I am something of a curmudgeon, and I will be the first to admit that. Sometimes I try to wriggle my way out of being social because I dread not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing, and it is always much easier to hide away at home reading a book or doing some other sort of solitary activity. There is nothing inherently wrong with reading or solitary activities; However, I acknowledge that it can become a sort of escape mechanism whereby I don’t have to challenge myself to get out of my own snuggly, polar-fleece-blanket-lined comfort zone. I even keep hot chocolate there. We’re talking a freaking cozy, state-of-the-art comfort zone here. I don’t mess around.*
Still, I find that some of my life’s richest experiences come when I step out of this haven for a little while and challenge myself to meet new people and/or try out an activity that is unfamiliar to me. It can be scary. Truly. But then I remember that everybody gets a little nervous sometimes.
So the main takeaways here are:
1) NaNoWriMo is awesome.
2) Community is awesome.
3) Polar fleece and hot chocolate are awesome, (most of the time).
4) Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is awesome.
So here’s the deal: I want to challenge myself to try more activities like the NaNoWriMo catch-up session. I live in an amazing city, and there is always so much going on here. So today, I step out of my comfort zone. Well, actually it’s getting late, and I have to go to sleep. But tomorrow I promise I will!
*You can think of my comfort zone as a mix between a blanket fort and Narnia. It’s cozy and inviting while also being filled with unforeseen dangers. It also happens to be located in the back of a wardrobe.