This blog gets its name from the catchphrase of NaNoWriMo, “Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon.”

And, for the past five years, I’ve set the majority of extra-professional life aside to participate in the phenomenon.  It has, in my opinion, paid off.  I am a much better writer than I was when I did not participate.  I must qualify that statement by saying that I never stopped writing during the other parts of the year, either.  I write year-round.  I just don’t live, eat. breathe and inhale it like I do in November.

I proceed at a much more measured, leisurely pace.  Normal writing process is an amble through a wooded park where I stop and admire the posies, inhale the fresh pine scent, and listen to the birds sing.  November is a mad, breathless dash across a dirt track, dust crunching under my feet, heart knocking in my chest.

It makes me a better writer.  I’d never ever want to show anyone else my November efforts, however.  My writing during that month is, to put it nicely, a diamond in the rough.

It will take much cutting, much care, much polishing to make it something worth enjoying.  But the effort has made it all possible.  Without the words, without the first draft–which, for me is more of a roadmap than anything else–there is nothing to edit, shine and make pretty.

So here’s to the 50,000 words I have just written.  Here’s to 50,000 more and a finished manuscript, soon.  Soon.  And then, here’s to the courage to attack it with the pencil, eraser, scissors (all virtual, of course), to make the necessary adjustments.

Here’s to producing a thing of beauty.

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