I once read a story by Stephen King called “The Long Walk”. Set in some strange future, it’s about an annual “contest” in which boys, upon reaching puberty (generally between the ages of 12 and 16), are eligible to participate in a “Long Walk”, a grueling test of endurance, courage, determination, and insanity. Most youngsters are drafted, though one can volunteer, if one is crazy enough to do so. You see, this walk has a beginning, but it ends when there is a last man (trust me, by the end, that person is no longer a boy). The others… well, they simply no longer exist.
Sometimes I find myself thinking of that story, most especially whenever I want to complain about something that seems difficult, even insurmountable. I’ve actually read “The Long Walk” twice, once as a youth myself, and once as an adult. The first time, it was just a great Stephen King story.
The second time, the true horror of the Walk’s concept hit me.
I would never make it: I complain too much. I’m also too darned lazy, among other things.
I say all this because I am not terribly pleased with my NaBloPoMo participation thus far. Yes, I have posted every single day, and it has certainly been good. However, I feel the quality of my posts have not been up to my real standards. I can do much better.
Worse has been my participation in NaNoWriMo. As you can see from the NaNoWriMo calendar widget on the right, I haven’t written a darn thing in days. At this point, it is awfully tempting to give up. Many of my fellow contestants have reached anywhere from 20-30 thousand words. We are, after all, halfway there.
If this were the Long Walk, I would have been shot dead already, for not maintaining a minimum pace.
Fortunately, this is a “just for fun” contest. No matter what happens, I will have the basis for a pretty decent story, much better than last year’s. Still, I think I need to put my foot down on the accelerator again. Perhaps tomorrow’s write-in will help…