What November 1 tells me

Every November 1, I think back to the month I competed in NaNoWriMo. If you’ve read those posts from way back, you know that NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge to write a novel in one month. One November after I heard about the challenge in college, I wrote a 50,000-word novel.

What’s interesting to me about this now is that every November 1, I think back to that challenge.

I remember certain people on their birthdays every year. I remember holidays. I remember maybe a few other specific events, you know, 9/11, Pearl Harbor, mostly tragedies.

But November 1 is different. Of all the things I remember each year, this is the one in the lineup that stands out as different from the others, the one that shouldn’t fit the group, the one that doesn’t quite seem significant enough to participate in the lineup.


Not why doesn’t it seem significant enough.

Why does it?

Why, of all the things I could remember, do I remember this?

I don’t remember the day I moved abroad for the first time. I don’t remember the day I finished college. I don’t remember the day I started this blog. Each of these seems like it would imprint on my memory better than the day I started the novel-writing challenge.

Why don’t I remember these other anniversaries each year? Why do I remember November 1?

I think it could be because that novel challenge turned into the lead domino for other challenges and experiments. I think more likely it’s because remembering the novel challenge, reminds me to consider what challenge I’m doing now and how I’m spending this November.