How my English professor challenged me

Almost four years ago to the day, in 2007, my English professor slipped me a brochure. “You seem like the kind of person who might be interested in this,” she said.

The brochure advertised a writing challenge called NaNoWriMo. It challenged would-be writers everywhere to churn out a 50,000-word draft of a novel in one month.

  • Why did this challenge peak my interest?
  • Why did I keep the brochure even though I didn’t really have time to write?
  • Why did my professor assume I was the kind of person who would be interested in it?

I can guess some of the answers, but I’m not certain about any of them. I just know I took her – and thousands of others – up on the challenge. I wrote, and wrote and wrote and wrote, and finished at the end of the month with a 50,000-word draft, an accomplishment I hadn’t even considered two months prior.

By simply passing along a brochure, my professor challenged me to do what I’d always wanted to do, bigger than I’d ever wanted to do it.