Well, today’s the day. Off on a big solo adventure to the Andes, hiking along the same route the Incas took so many many years ago, and seeing their fair city of Machu Picchu.

I have been wanting to see Machu Picchu for years. There is a big spread picture of it in my living room, and it’s been staring at me from the screen of my work laptop ever since I booked it (actually, this isn’t really fair, since Word and Outlook are the real things staring at me day in and day out). It is just a fantastically beautiful place, untouched for so long. They built it, by hand, every piece. Every time I see a glimpse of a photo of Machu Picchu, I long to go there myself and see it. To experience it, to just be, there.

I’d posted previously, trying to figure out if I wanted to bring my iPad or not. I decided not. I need a total vacation, no computers, barely any electronics (I figure maybe a phone is a good idea). Because then I will stress over my novel page count, and then I will be tempted to see where I can get WiFi – just to check, right? No. There is too much of that already. I am going hiking in a stunning mountain range, seeing beauties I’ve never truly dreamed of, making new friends from around the world.

My novel will just have to be on pause. And then I will get back, and spend the remaining days of November scrambling to catch up. That’s okay. And I may not make it to 50,000 on time, but that’s okay too. Who am I kidding? I will write nonsense until all hours of the night to catch up. I try not to be crazy competitive outside of the office, where I often need to be, but the person I am most competitive against is me, myself, and I. So, this will get done. I hope. I may be taking a random class, too. Since my November needs more things, obviously. But, I will try to keep this in mind: through the community that is Facebook, someone posted a note that came from her own region’s NaNoWriMo Facebook group/page/whatever they’re called. Thanks to Miranda for posting, and Rob for the thoughts:

NaNo isn’t about polish; it isn’t about plot, or dialogue, or description. It’s about writing. One word after another, one sentence at a time. It’s about getting from 0 to 50K in 30 days. That doesn’t leave time for research, grammar or structure. It’s a sprint, and it’s hard work. Don’t make it harder than it has to be.

NaNo is about freedom. It’s about turning your mind loose and letting it find its own path. Don’t hunt for ideas, let them come to you. Let them flow, then as they do, write what you learn. Don’t worry about sense, about realistic, about what other people write about. For that matter, don’t worry at all. Be who you are, dream what you dream, then write it all down. Save the worry for December.

This isn’t rocket science, or the hidden secret of the universe. But if this is your first time, and you’re bogged down in the mechanics of the craft, you’re discouraged in the quality of your prose, let it go. It doesn’t matter. NaNo is playtime, permission to throw all those rules we learn out the window and let it be what it is.

NaNo isn’t about what we write. It’s about why we write. It’s about remembering how much fun it is to tell stories.

So, I’m at 12,963 as of this post.

Last night, my boyfriend drove over and we went out for dinner and spent some time together before he went back to his place to get ready for work today. He is not exactly the emotional type, but he called me early yesterday morning and asked if I wanted to do dinner. Cute 🙂 It was nice to see him once more before I go. Hey, Peru, here I come!