Friday, September 19, 2014

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Ahoy! September 19 is "Talk Like A Pirate Day."

Yes, it's a real day! Sort of. As the official website says, "a goofy idea celebrated by a handful of friends has turned into an international phenomenon that shows no sign of letting up." In addition to a virtual presence, people organize everything from fundraisers to pub crawls in honor of the day.

It's true I love fictional pirates, as evidenced by my mystery novel Pirate Vishnu. But that's not the reason I find Talk Like A Pirate Day so fascinating. I think it's so great because it was a small idea shared by a few passionate friends, but it spiraled into something much larger than they ever imagined.


A similar thing happened with National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

In 1999, twenty one friends got together in the San Francisco Bay Area. They had no grand ambitions that first year, and were shocked with what they accomplished.

Year two: A friend set up a website, more than 100 people signed up, and they threw a "Thank God It's Over" party at the end of the month.

In year three, they expected maybe a couple hundred people to sign up. Five thousand did.

(You can read the full NaNoWriMo history here.)

I discovered NaNoWriMo in their sixth year, and signed up along with 40,000 others. Not everyone finished a 50,000-word novel that month, but I did.

Because of the random idea of a few friends who wanted to try something crazy, I completed my first novel. If it hadn't been for them, I might not have pushed through to finish a full draft of a novel. The first draft of a first novel is the hardest thing to complete, because it's before a writer knows if they can pull it off. Writing a first novel is a crazy endeavor. But thanks to those crazy friends, I learned that I could do it--and that it was fun.

So thank you to all the friends out there who are cooking up zany plans in their living rooms. I look forward to hearing about your creations.

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!


2 comments:

  1. I heard about NaNoWriMo about 4 or 5 years ago. This November will be my 3rd year. The first year I did the 50K, 2nd year not so much, but this past summer I did a 15K camp. I'm hoping this years story is "The" one :)

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    1. Good luck with this year's NaNoWriMo, Carrie!

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