Peach the Panda and the Monsters of NaNoWriMo: Chapter 2

The day had come.

Peach the Panda had successfully dispatched the Monster of Self Doubt and was now free to take that first step out of her cave.  She had packed everything she needed for the trip (bamboo and coffee), finished up her plan, and wrote some last minute notes to friends and family apologizing for her absence over the upcoming month.

She took a deep breath.  It was time to leave the cave.  The day had come.  She marched up to the entrance of her cave and….

Blanked.  The ground was so soft and clean and it looked like no one had ever set foot on it before.  She had her plan but she didn’t write down how she would take that first step.  And now that she was ready, that blank ground looked pretty intimidating.

She heard a soft roar and looked around quickly.  But she didn’t see that familiar face of the Self Doubt Monster.  She had conquered it with her plan and her commitment to take the journey.  She put her foot in the air, ready to take a step, but heard another soft roar.

She looked around again, and then saw the ground looking back at her.  And that was a slightly alarming sight, so she jumped back.  It’s not every day a pair of eyes suddenly materialized from dirt.

And she knew what it was.  It was the Blank Page Monster.  That ground was so nice and so pristine it was pretty intimidating to take that first step.  How would she begin the journey when no one had walked down that path before?

But it was time to go.  She had to go before the Self Doubt Monster came back.  She closed her eyes and jumped out of the cave.  When she landed, she heard a soft scream of terror.  At first, she thought is was her (she was a little scared) but soon realized that the pair of eyes had disappeared.  She had defeated the Blank Page Monster.  She took a couple more steps and saw her paw prints in the dirt.  She had truly begun her journey through the woods.


It’s October 31st as I send this.  It’s Halloween, the time for way too much candy and, you guessed it, monsters.  And we’ve already defeated the Self Doubt Monster, but now it’s time to tackle our next monster – the Blank Page Monster.

That blank page is intimidating to everyone – folks who have done NaNoWriMo ten times, folks who are attempting their first NaNoWriMo, and authors of twenty published novels.  For some, the Blank Page Monster will be the scariest monster they face during the entire month.

Now, some of you may already have your first line.  And if that’s the case, then I applaud you.  But many of you are probably just like me, without a clue on what that first line will be.  And that’s ok.  But you might want to give it some thought today, before midnight.  You might be under the impression your first line has to be amazing.  Pulitzer worthy even.  It doesn’t.  Because you might end up thinking of THE PERFECT first line somewhere in the middle of the month or during the editing process.  So if you can’t think of THE PERFECT first line, don’t let the Blank Page Monster win.  Get something down and get that momentum going.  If you’re worried about perfection right from the get go, you’ll never conquer that Blank Page Monster.

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