As a general rule, I’ve made it a key point of my life to avoid even the appearance of being a joiner. The term joiner, in case you were unaware, is defined by dictionary.com as:
- A person or thing that joins.
- A carpenter, esp. one who constructs doors, window sashes, paneling, and other permanent woodwork.
- A person who belongs to many clubs, associations, societies, etc., often from indiscriminate enthusiasm, for increased status, to make business or social contacts, or the like.
First off, I think we can all agree that I’m no carpenter. I couldn’t build a bird house without having it condemned. And really, I don’t need a family of robins pissed off and dive bombing my front porch because I’m some kind of aviary slum lord.
What I really meant relates more to the other definitions. That is, I don’t join things; I’ve never been much of a crowd follower. Not once in my life (that I can recall), did I sign up for that cool club or fun activity that everyone else was getting into. I’ve never done anything just to network or hobnob. Of course, that’s not to say I was a leader either, at least never on purpose. Puddin, party of one, thankyouverymuch.
That said, I don’t know if maybe I’m showing some maturity in my middling years, or perhaps I’m comfortable enough with my own goofiness that I don’t care anymore, but I’ve noticed that my fear of becoming one of the herd is slower eroding.
Case in point: NaNoWriMo. And no, it’s neither a variation of greeting from the planet Ork or a steaming pile of keyboard vomit. NaNoWriMo is an abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month, which is intended to be a fun, wacky approach to getting aspiring novelists to start – and finish – a complete 50,000 word novel in the month of November. In 30 short days, the goal is to have a terrible, but complete, first draft, something that can later be lovingly crafted into a masterpiece. It’s a great way to get used to writing every day and with luck, you’ll craft something that might eventually become great. Basically, you just sign up on the website, get to the word spewage, track your progress daily, and hopefully generate a novel of the requisite length by midnight on November 30th.
For once in my life, I found myself wanting to play along. I would have jumped into the fray happily and done everything possible to spit out the necessary number of poorly structured words. My thinking, of course, was, wow, what a cool way to bang out the last half of “Famine” (my fledgling novel-in-progress). Sadly, when I read the NaNoWriMo guidelines, though, I found that in order to participate one has to start work on a completely new project. Sure, I could have set Thom/Tom on the back burner for a month and tried to power through something else, but the fact is that just wouldn’t have worked. I very much need to follow him until he reaches the end of this particular path. I’m not ready to put his story aside just now.
So, no NaNoWriMo for Puddin this year. It’s just as well, I guess. I have an obligation to produce witty Puddintopia entries several times a week. Trying to squeeze out 50000 words in a single month would have required some serious task prioritization, which likely means neglecting all of you. And I just can’t do that. The Puddinette claims to enjoy my ramblings. Were to go on hiatus, I fear she might be tempted to stab me with a fork repeatedly in retribution.
Thus, in the interest of not becoming perforated, I’ll have to consider NaNoWriMo some other time. They do it every November, so there will be other chances.
Now that I’m riding the joiner bandwagon, though, there’s no limit to the other stuff I can do. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be in a biker gang. Maybe tomorrow I’ll call for an application. Anyone know the number for the Hell’s Angels?