You know exactly what this is, Cyberspace. . .
If you read Tuesday’s smudge, you know precisely what is happening. You are already well aware of the dangers that await you within these pages, of the horrors that lurk in the shadows, haunting your every step.
Yet here you are.
November is quickly approaching. It calls to us. Taunts us. Tries to destroy us with its promises of greatness and creativity, of a month spent in the blissful surrender of words and stories.
We all know what NaNoWriMo is. It is a journey. An adventure. It is a steep and unrelenting descent into the abyss known as The Void. It is pain, and it is death, and it is torture.
But we shall not surrender.
We are. . .
• • • The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad • • •
Cool name, right?
Of course it is. I came up with it.
Now, you’re probably sitting on the other end of the screen right now, scratching your mite infested head and thinking, “
I should really get this mite thing under control soon… What in the name of salted pastrami is The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad?”
Short Answer: A challenge.
Long Answer: A way for all of us bloggerly WriMo’s to connect with each other on a deeper, emotional, possibly even psychological level through physical pain, torture, and even death–to push each other down and trample our
arch-rivals friends in the name of being the sole victor at the end of 30 gruesome days of frustration and decay.
Sounds like fun, right?
Here’s the thing, guys. Initially, I was going to make this whole enchilada solely about whether I won NaNoWriMo or not. If I won, I got to dare all of you to do something fun, wacky, and probably severely random on your blogs. But if I lost, then YOU got do dare ME.
But then I got to thinking. . .
NaNoWriMo is a season of pushing ourselves. Chances are, if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this November, you have a goal. Whether that is to be a traditionalist and write 50,000 words of a brand spanking new story, to rebel against everything you stand for and finish the second draft that you’ve been working on for almost half a year now
(*cough#oopscough*), to begin the creation of that graphic novel you’ve been dreaming about for 3,000 days, or to just simply write a short story because DANGFLABBIT, YOU’RE GOING TO WRITE–no matter WHAT your goal happens to be for November, you have something that you’re pushing yourself towards. Your eyes are set on an end result, and you are determined.
You are motivated.
You are ready to succeed.
And what better way to succeed than by pushing ourselves and each other? What better way to win than by tripping everyone else up so that you alone are the final survivor?
And with that simple idea, dearest Cyberspace, The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad burst forth into existence.
Here’s how it works:
Everyone who joins The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad gets their name, blog, and monthly goal posted onto the sign-up sheet down below. Along with this information, every participant is required to provide their own unique bloggerly dare, which will be posted on the bottom of the sign-up sheet beside a randomized number.
If, by some strange miracle, you are able to complete your goal by the end of the month–CONGRATULATIONS! You are safe.
Take a cookie. You deserve it.
If you fail to meet your goal by the time the clock strikes midnight on December 1st–no matter if you are one word behind or 1,000–you must take up. . .
Duhn duhn DUHN!!!
And this is where those randomized numbers beside the dares come into play. Those numbers, my good sir, are your new friends. If you fail to meet your goal by the end of the month, you must take up the cubes of destiny, give them a good toss in your quivering hand, and roll.
Whatever number you happen to land upon is now your personal dare. (Unless, of course, it is the dare that you submitted. Then you must roll again. #fun)
Take it. Smell it. Fear it.
And then you must perform it.
After all, this is what you have signed up for, is it not? This is the price you must pay for failure.
But while this all sounds like fun and games and whatnot, this is not where the party ends.
Because I am Kenzie, and this is Smudged Thoughts, and if there is one thing we have all learned in the past year–there is always a catch.
I’ve already mentioned that it’s going to be a very great stretch for me to actually succeed in finishing this second draft in one month. I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose, but I’m determined to try it, anyway. I’m committed to success–thus the reason I’m creating this squad of daring beans.
However, since the odds of me failing are–in a sense–greater than if I was simply going for the 50k, I’m willing to raise the stakes one notch higher.
If, at the end of the month, I am the sole loser, then I must perform Every. Single. Dare. on the board. No exceptions.
Or, to make things even more interesting, I will perform a video dare, which the winners of The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad shall come together and formulate the punishment of by the combination of their masterfully evil minds.
But the only way you’ll get to see me make a complete and utter imbecile out of myself is by defeating me as a team. Every member of the Squad besides me must win. It is an all or nothing package.
So basically I’m the great and terrible villain that you need to smash and pound into a bloody pulp.
But anyway, if the end of the month comes and some of us have failed, while others have reigned victorious, then at least all you winners out there will get to see us failures flail and squeal like pterodactyl hatchlings as we embarrass ourselves publicly.
And if that isn’t a reward all in itself, I don’t know what is.
So now that you know the basic gist of the game, I’m sure you’re just dying to sign up, am I right? Well, you’re in luck, dear bean, because signing up is super duper easy.
Here’s how to do it:
*WARNING: joining The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad has been known to make three grown men cry, one cookie spontaneously combust, and thirty laptops crash simultaneously. please join at your own risk.
Step One: Decide That You’re Participating In NaNoWriMo – Committing yourself to 30 days of possible mind deterioration requires mass amounts of sheer willpower, but even the most faint of heart can power through NaNoWriMo with enough caffeine and story prompts. Joining The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, however, could potentially end in death.
Step Two: Determine Your Monthly Goal – Whether it’s the grand ol’ 50k, a rewrite of your precious manuscript, or even a daily journal entry, the second thing you need to do is decide on what your overall goal is for the month. November’s NaNoWriMo session is usually geared towards writing 50k of a new story in 30 days, but the greatest part of The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad is that we are a rebellion. We do what we want, when we want. We’re the cool kids. The kids who break all the rules. The kids who end up crying in detention and asking for our mommies and lemon-flavored lollipops.
Step Three: Join The Dare Squad – Joining is easy. It’s once you’re actually in that the real problems arise.
To join, all you have to do is fill out this form in the comments below:
Blog: Smudged Thoughts
Goal: Finishing My Second Draft. Whoo.
And that’s it. I’m so great at creating forms.
Step Four: Send Me Your Dare – Oh, I’m sorry. Did you think there was only one catch? Oops.
To establish greater anonymity to the challenge, you must email your dare to me personally over in the Suggestion Desk, making sure to include both your name and the name of your blog so that I know what belongs to who. The reason for this secrecy is just another little embellishment to the thrill of the game. One that I like to call the element of surprise and torture.
And what is this element of surprise and torture, you might ask? Well. . .
. . .I will not be publicly posting the dares onto the board until November 19th. . .
Oh yes. You read that correctly.
You will have absolutely no clue whatsoever as to what your fellow Squad members have sent in until the nineteenth of November.
That’s nineteen days of not knowing what horrors shall await you. That’s nineteen days of writing with no knowledge as to what could potentially happen lest you fail, no knowledge of what your fellow rivals and team members have meticulously stacked against you.
That is nineteen days of fear and anxious torment. . .
(NOTE – dares may NOT include: worm eating, cookie destroying, anything that could potentially be harmful to anyone’s health [i.e. sword swallowing, truck hurdling, bear mauling, etc.])
Step Five: Wait For November and WRITE!
– For anyone who has participated in NaNoWriMo before, you know the drill. Once November hits, you write.
You don’t stop. You don’t think. You write.
You write like never before, without looking back. You write like there’s no one watching, write like there isn’t a giant board of dares ready to sink its evil claws into you if you fail.
You write like your life depends on it, but above all else–
Step Six: Have Fun – It’s extremely easy to get so caught up in the WRITE WRITE WRITE WRITE mentality of NaNoWriMo that you forget to have fun, but if there is one thing I want you to take away from all of this, it’s that November is a month for us writers to create, to inspire, to set ourselves free. Sure, you might end up failing miserably and having to do a wacky dare on your blog at the end of the month, but hey. That’s just another part of the exhilaration. So don’t get so caught up in the WRITE IT ALL RIGHT NOW OR DIE mentality that you forget to relax and enjoy what you’re creating. Because after all, that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about.
NOTE TO ALL PARTICIPANTS: All Squad members must submit their forms AND dares by no later than November 1st. Please and Thank You and Cookies For All.
(failure to submit before this date will result in a wild werebear attack [#oops])
All right, Cyberspace! That about sums everything up! All that’s left to do is reveal the sign-up board!
Drumroll please. . .
. . .
Isn’t it beautiful? I feel like it really captures the essence of pain that we’ll all be experiencing next month.
So there you have it, folks! The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, open for business. I really hope you guys will join the bandwagon and have some fun with me next month. If you do, I can personally assure you that you’re in for one wild adventure.
Or, you know, premature death. There’s really no telling which.
If you have any questions, concerns, or are just really, really confused, go ahead and shoot me a comment down below! I’ll do my best to clear up any confusion.
As always, until next time–
*flings cookies in the air and disappears*
talk to me, peasants!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for today, Cyberspace! What are your thoughts? Do you think The NaNoWriMo Dare Squad sounds like a fun new challenge, or a horrendously terrifying and confusing ordeal that you would really rather have no part in? Either way, are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? And if so, what is your favorite NaNo tradition? Let us talk about ALL OF THE NANOWRIMO THINGS down in the comments below!
Are YOU up for the challenge?