National writing month brings pages of opportunity

National writing month brings pages of opportunity

Most people have aspirations. There are those who dream of fame earned in front of a camera or from a pulpit or behind the luxurious desk of an executive. Then there are those who strive for a different type of accomplishment: the realization of a personal goal.

Yes, these goals may include running a marathon, flinging oneself out of a plane or even the ambitious effort of visiting all seven continents. But these intentions are not for the purpose of external glory. Rather, they are valued for the intrinsic sense of achievement that they provide for the participant. Thus arises a proposal for the most often sought but rarely accomplished feat: writing a book.

A Web site called is home to an online resource responsible for allowing aspiring authors and writers to fulfill their wildest literary fantasies. This Web site promotes November as National Novel Writing Month. Through supplemental funding from its participants, 15,000 of the proposed 100,000 participants became full-fledged novelists last year, accomplishing a feat that a large majority of the population has at least whimsically considered during his or her lifetime.

Though it may seem a daunting task (the goal is 175 pages, or 50,000 words), imagine the sense of accomplishment. Glass ceilings and vaulted doors will be respectively shattered and collapsed. As the creator of the movement cites, the process is not about being perfect, but rather completing this gargantuan attempt. College offers a multitude of excitement and activities and nonesuch occupations of time. However, the day will come where droning routine will occupy our lives. National Novel Writing Month offers a welcome respite from the fear of this looming, repetitive future. Now is the time to issue a chronology of your first few months of freedom, your past four years of college, or even a fictitious statement about the decades to come. Regardless, the creativity and exuberance that can so often be stifled through rote written work, memorization, and exclusive dedication to one’s major can now burst forcefully through to a much-needed release, however dingy and unpolished.

This is not to say that geniuses do not lay in and among us. Perhaps they are indeed there, hidden, tragically awaiting posthumous fame. But they too shall gain recognition for their ascribed talents and have their reputations elevated to that of a clever peer with a pension for wit and social insight. Therefore, the reasons topple over themselves, rushing to be the first to garner your agreement of participation in this undertaking. Imagine the celebration of 10 people finishing their novels all at once. The burst of figurative confetti and fireworks would hue nicely against the post-dusk silhouette of frog fountain. See, there it is: Imagery and words and excitement rashly rushing forth to collect themselves in print.

With a small portion of diligence and insight, this could be the achievement to spark future achievements. From one novel issues forth the possibility of accomplishment in other fields. Whether it is a fantasy, a mystery story or a scathing social commentary, it will indeed be an effort worth recognition. Therefore, let us scatter our inhibitions and pursue this haughty, unrealistic goal. The result will lead to not only the opportunity to say, “Well, in my first novel,” but will also provide the warm, cheerful feeling one finds in finding a $20 bill in a long-neglected winter coat: simple excitement and frantic searching for more money.

Matt Boaz is a senior political science major from Edmond, Okla.