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Putting Deadlines on Dreams

Posted on | November 29, 2010 | 4 Comments

November is almost over which, for me, brings the end of a frenzied month of writing. I signed up with several writer friends for NaNoWriMo, which means we each committed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Some of us (like me) started with a work in progress. Some started new novels and some wrote nonfiction. What we have in common, though, is that all of us tapped into the positive peer pressure of making a public commitment–much like people do when they train for a marathon.

I don’t run marathons; I write them.

Novelist, screenwriter, and memoirist Dave Eggers sent an email today to all NaNoWriMo participants. I found his motivational “speech” today moving, and wanted to share it with you:

“Knowing there are thousands of others out there trying to do the same, who are using this ridiculous deadline as cattle-prod and shame deterrent, means goddamnit, you better do it now because you know how to write, and you have fingers, and you have this one life, and during this one life, you should put your words down, and make your voice heard, and then let others hear your voice. And the only way any of that’s going to happen is if you actually do it.

So, whether it’s running a race, completing a novel, or learning how to rock climb, get out there and do whatever it is you’re dreaming of.


4 Responses to “Putting Deadlines on Dreams”

  1. Barbara Hammond
    November 29th, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    Nike was right! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Style Maniac
    November 30th, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    “you have this one life” … wow. really, what are any of us waiting for?

  3. Ann's Rants
    December 1st, 2010 @ 5:54 pm


  4. In Recognition of the Saints Who Live With Writers : GLOSSING OVER IT
    January 25th, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    […] I have participated in NaNoWriMo in years past. I have also done NaNoEditMo, and NaNoEdit Some Mo and Mo.  NaNoWriMo means waking up at 5 a.m. and banging out 500 words before work, then coming home and writing another 1,000+ words in the evening. It means not seeing or conversing much with your spouse, except to report on word counts and ask if the baby is still alive. […]

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