Friday, December 2, 2011

solving that December dilemma

Alright. My thinking cap led me to a hot bowl of noodles in the alley beside the university. I thawed as I sat in amongst the slosh, the steaming tomato slices burning my lips and keeping me from slipping into (even deeper) hypothermia. After the bowl was polished off, however, I still had not cleared my mind as to the December issue. So then I walked to the McDonalds on the other side of the university and sat down with a big mug of black coffee (ironically, McCafe does the best coffee within walking distance from campus) accompanied by an Oreo McFlurry. Still nothing. So I read some more of The Great Shark Hunt (I have only ever read this book whilst sitting in that McDonalds) and about two hours later I felt like another McFlurry.

And as I was licking the spoon of that second McFlurry, the thought came to me. It was a long-forgotten memory from a sentence within a TED video I watched about a million years ago. Apparently, somewhere in the great internet universe, there was a group of people that got together and for one month of the year, began and finished a novel. I remember now! Yes! It was brilliant! 50’000 words in 30 days! And they all did it together for enthusiasm and motivation. Alright this is it.

I hurried home because I was so excited about this idea and because it is apparently now cold enough for the fountains to have frozen over, and as soon as I got inside I ran to my laptop. Less than a minute of googling later, and I had found what I was looking for – National Novel Writing Month. It was everything I thought it would be. Just a group of people who wanna write, getting together and doing it. It’s all about quality over quantity, and based on the assumption that editing can come later. This month is supposed to be about getting words on paper. Hardcore levels of writing. Exactly what I thirsted for.

I soon came across an issue – national novel writing month is, in fact, November.


Oh the irony. That I should motivate myself and become so excited at this prospect on the first of December. I think that is just cruel. The universe put a roadblock in my brain so that I couldn’t have thought of this brilliant idea just one month earlier. I missed it in the most extreme possible way. It’s like converting to Christianity on boxing day. Damn it. Goddamnit.

The good news is that these cool people also do a script writing month in April! Its called Script Frenzy, and I’ve signed up. (Notice that cool new badge on the right-hand-side of the blog.) I’m super excited about April now, and already thinking of ideas. You can list your location and even meet up with people in your area who are also taking the challenge, and have picnics together. I mean, the whole thing is just awesome!

So what about now? What about December? I told Hanna about my disappointment at missing the November novel month, and she came up with an excellent point.
‘Why not just do it in December?’
So yeah – that made sense. It’s a great idea, and I don’t really have an excuse, so I think I might just start trying to write it. The novel, that is. You know, actually write each day in a way that links together to create a big story. 

At the moment I seem to write in chunks, none of which could ever possibly come together. I have ideas, of course. Ideas that have blossomed in this cranium since arriving in China, some of which are about China or have been inspired by my life and time here. Ideas that I have since scribbled across pages and pages of loose A4 printer paper, and scrawled all through Moleskines and typed all over vaguely named Word documents. What a fitting way to end my time here – to begin writing a novel about it.

So, in classic Bri style, I’ll be starting on the second of the month. Almost got there for the clean start, but not quite. Hahaha. I’m going to try and bring all the ideas together and make something of it. Without the help of the whole NaNoWriMo program, I do not expect to, or plan to, make it to the 50’000 words by the end of December. But when it comes to novels, I’m given to understand that the beginning them is the only thing harder than ending them. So what the heck? Just give it a go? Right?

‘What the heck’ it is. I’ll let you know how it’s going. Not too often, but often enough to keep me motivated. Maybe once a week? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how it goes. I have some pretty kook shit running around in my head already, but it’s almost 6:00am now and I haven’t been to bed. That might be another reason for this sudden newfound energy and commitment! Huzzah! Lack of sleep! I was determined to solve the December problem before sunrise on the 2nd. Hahahha silly pragmatics. But thanks to winter, it's still dark outside, and this problem is solved. Shazam!

In case you were wondering, I will also still be eating a lot of delicious local food. That is still definitely something that I will be doing. Beginning in about an hour with some tasty street-food breakfast omelettes!



  1. "It’s like converting to Christianity on boxing day."

    Made my day! I'm gonna steal that, just so you know

  2. Also, ship me some of that delicious food my tummy wants so badly, willya?


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