It is almost November, and we all know what that means, National Novel Writing Month. I guess you thought I was going to writes something about the election. I figure with all of the writers on this site (except Johnny and Bob, thank you both so much) having voiced their political opinions over the last few weeks, enough had been said already. I want to focus on writing.

I started this column last year as I embarked on my first attempt at writing a complete novel. The fine people at NaNoWriMo.org help me with a challenge and various on line support activities. There are also local gatherings at coffee shops to put real faces and bodies on the messages. I was successful last year for many reasons, none more important than that I was on a significant amount of travel, two weeks at a time away from my family. When I try this year, I will have the challenges of every day life impacting my ability to perform.

The goal of National Novel Writing Month is not actually to write a compete novel, although that may be a happy outcome. The goal is to write down 5000 words that are conceivably part of a larger story or novel. The challenge is to achieve this goal in a single month, November 1 through November 30. No fair grabbing an old story that you already had several thousand word complete on. The reward is writing, and if you succeed, some nice icon gifts for your book, your facebook page and a certificate to always remember your achievement.

As with last year, I plan on tracking my progress here at TheSoapBoxers.com. I will encourage all of our readers to write, and maybe even share some of their effort. Unlike last year, I will focus on what I am doing to write, not a blow by blow of the story line.

So the question is, will you “elect” to join me on this adventure? You do not have to write, but I always encourage people to do so. You can just ride the journey with me and anyone else who is willing to share in the odyssey.

A few months ago, I pledged to embark on a different journey. I was going to set up my computer on a treadmill table so that I could walk my way across this great land of ours as I wrote this column or watched television. Although I did set up the table for a short while, my progress was so slow that I never had enough success to write about it. The treadmill and table took up so much room in out family room that my wife asked me to move it to the basement. Out of sight, out of mind, and the experiment came to an end. This writing pledge will not suffer the same fate. I may succeed or I may fail, but I will undertake the effort for the full month.

When I made the cross country treadmill pledge, I had several helpful exchanges with Evan about ways of adding physical activity to our otherwise stationary work lives. As a result of those discussions, I will be investing in an under desk peddle systems. I will cycle my way through the day as I sit at my desk, reading, writing, phoning, texting and doing all the things we do at work that cause the day to pass with little or no physical motion.

So, go to NaNoWriMo.org tonight and join up and in seven days let your ideas flow. Catch them all, sting them together and who knows what you will end up with.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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