Believing I can fly

You have to expect things of yourselves before you can do them
– Michael Jordan

When I was a teacher, I always had high expectations of my students. It wasn’t because I wanted to set them up to fail but because I wanted to instil in them the belief they could achieve anything they set their sights on. It’s kind of ironic that I don’t think I’ve ever had the same expectations of myself, never quite believed I could achieve whatever I set my sights on. I guess I’ve always been afraid of failure. I never tried out for the leads in school plays because I was afraid I wouldn’t get them, never asked out the cute boy I had a crush on because I was afraid he’d say no, never applied for the dream jobs I really wanted because I was afraid I wouldn’t get them or, if I did, wouldn’t cope.

So, when one of my Twitter pals asked if I was going to participate in next month’s NaNoWriMo, naturally my answer was ‘no’. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual writing project where writers all over the world commit to writing at least 50,000 words of a novel, from scratch, in the month of November. I can think of a bunch of reasons why I don’t want to (read: won’t) commit to this challenge; including:

  • I’ve just started a new job and it’s a lot more work, and longer hours, than I thought it would be.
  • My parents will be visiting for a week towards the end of November for my birthday.
  • I’ve already started a story and I want to stick with it, not put it aside for a new project just for NaNoWriMo.

But the most honest reason I won’t commit to the challenge is that I’m just afraid of failure.

Yes, I am one big coward!

Just one big coward

My dear Twitter pal, however, is awe-inspiring because she is going to participate in this challenge (Go Team Shaggy). She recently committed to and successfully completed a 30-day blog challenge, so I know she can do this too or will at least take a great whack at it. From the perspective of someone who is too chicken to participate for fear of failure, I am in awe. In awe of everyone willing to have a go at this awesome challenge; whether you make your 50,000 words or not, all you NaNoWriMo-ers, you are awesome!

So, to support my Twitter pal, I have agreed to commit to a mini goal – an unofficial NaNoWriMo project. I don’t know what my goal will be, except that it will be much smaller than 50,000 words, and I will continue working on the project I’ve already started. This will be my one small step into believing in myself and maybe next year I’ll take that giant leap into NaNoWriMo – officially!

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it.
– R Kelly

I believe I can fly

So, what do you think, readers, what’s a realistic goal for my unofficial NaNoWriMo project?

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