The first time I heard the term NaNoWriMo spoken (I'd seen it online a zillion and six times - but I'm talking heard) it sounded like: Na No Rhyme Oh,
and judging by the discussion the term came up in I assumed it was some kind of writing thing. Adding 2 + 2 and getting 7, I figured it was a twist on the NaNoWriMo I'd seen written about online (a zillion and six times) - and probably involved poetry, because -> Rhyme Oh.
Seeing the bewildered look on my face (when I was working through the math), someone asked: "Do you know what NaNoWriMo is?"
Well, I knew what NaNoWriMo was, but I didn't know anything about this Rhyme Oh thing, so I said (excitedly, hoping to learn about a poetry-writer's gathering): "No, never heard of it - do tell?"
And they did - with gusto! I instantly realized that they were talking about the same NaNoWriMo I'd seen written about online (a zillion and six times), but there was no chance to explain.
First there was a lot of enthusiastic describing and showing ("look, they gave me this! And this - and this - and I wrote ____ words, and I can't wait for next November because I've got some great ideas, and…") - way cool! I love enthusiasm,
but then I was peppered with questions and given no time to answer them (Introvert Hell).
The person asking the questions answered them for me, based (I'm guessing) on her own 2 + 2 equals 7 (which was helped along by my bewildered/deer-in-the-headlights expression):
"Do you write? No, if you did you'd know what NaNoWriMo is."
"Well, do you read?" (I croaked out a quick "yeah" on that one) "You do? Then what's your favorite genre?" Oh shit, I read a lot - on a lot of topics and in a lot of genres - how to answer that one (continued bewildered/deer-in-the-headlights expression)?
"So you don't really read."
And then I nailed my own coffin shut (so to speak). There was a radio playing in the background, something positive (rare!) was said about a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game; another gal and I gave little cheers and I was discovered (in a 2 + 2 = 7 sense):
"Oh, you're into sports (voice dripping with disapproval). I see!"
I think I was smarter when I was a kid. Back then I'd nod assent or mumble "yeah" when asked "Do you know what ___ is?" - because half the time (ok, more like 99.8% of the time) I'd be in my own little world and wasn't following the conversation - and the rest of the time I was covering my butt against eventualities like the NaNoWriMo embarrassment.
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You might also want to check out a teleclass Charlotte and I put together, called Authenticity + Creativity, where we explore the intersection of (your) authenticity + (your) creativity, discuss how Fear gets in the way, AND learn how to work around it!