How I became a writer

My day started innocently enough. It was a November afternoon and I had been reasonably content after a wonderful lunch. There I was sitting at my desk working when my life was changed forever. My wife walked into our office and told me one of our co-workers was writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month. This statement would have been a friendly conversation starter for most people, something to talk about and then forget, but not for me. The conversation had reignited a spark in the back of my mind. My voice rose as I asked, "National Novel Writing Month?"

She explained the fascinating rules of writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I glanced at the calendar on the wall, November 5th. I decided to do it. Who needed silly things like sleep or free time. I was going to write the novel that had been floating around in my head. The novel that was banging on the artificial cell I had built to keep it contained. I unlocked the cell and handed the novel the keys. I had become a writer.

The next day, I found my co-worker who had indirectly changed my life. I told her I had joined the challenge and was writing a novel as well. When I told her my word count, her eyes widened. She nodded politely and we went our separate ways.

We posted our word counts online which fueled the informal competition. It was fun. It was social. It was accountability.

I find myself carrying a notebook everywhere, having a greater love of coffee, and reading more books. This writing thing is not without a learning curve. I am reading, studying, and sweating to improve my writing. It is hard, but I am loving it.

Writing was a passion I ignored because it was not entirely socially acceptable, but with a nudge from NaNoWriMo I have embraced it.

What would you do if no one judged your choices?