That was the title of a story I wrote for NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is for people that think they want to be writers to dedicate one month to writing a whole lot and try to produce a story of 50,000 words or more in 31 days. To achieve this you free yourself from the constraints of quality and go for quantity. It is actually a better idea than you might think. A lot of people that try to write get caught up in trying to make everything perfect as they go, with constant revisions, edits, and agonizing over crafting perfect prose. For NaNoWriMo you throw all that out the window and just write. It works because the best way to become a better writer is to write. If you can just get yourself putting words to paper on a consistent basis your writing skills will improve. So, since I fancied myself something of a writer I participated in the mad literary dash, and each year I reached my word count in the allotted time. However, only one of those times did I actually finish the story, and that story was Becoming McGuilicutty.
McGuillicutty was a creation of mine, a reluctant half human / half leprechaun superhero that I wrote a short story about that a friend was going to publish in a comic project he was working on. Well, the project never saw fruition, but I liked the character so much that he became the basis for one of my NaNoWriMo novels. Of course, like most of my writing, I never finished that story. So when NaNoWriMo next came around I wrote a story about an aspiring writer that never finished his stories. Through the influence of a magical artifact many characters from his works came to life in the modern world and caused considerable problems for him. In the midst of this his favorite creation McGuillicutty appeared and became his ally and mentor.
Through the story it became clear that he had created the character of McGuillicutty to become the person that he wished he was, an escape from his boring mundane life. By the end of the story the writer has come into his own, not becoming McGuillicutty, but becoming the person he always wished he had been. This isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but it was a fun little story I enjoyed writing. It is also notable because it is only the second one of my stories I ever finished. And finished is only applicable to the fact that I wrapped it up and reached a conclusion. It still remains an unedited mess that would need a lot of work to become a good tale.
Now that all the background is out of the way, the real point here is that maybe I’m becoming McGuillicutty a bit myself. I find myself asking the question WWMD? (What Would McGuillicutty Do). And while I will never drink as much whiskey or be quite as blunt as he, I find his confidence and intolerance of BS creeping more and more into my personality. I’ve become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. I seem to have reclaimed a bit of the fire in my belly, and it’s a good feeling. There won’t be any great life altering events coming from this, but a more subtle change in how I live my life. I look back over my life and realize that I’ve seen and done quite a bit. I’ve been locked up, beaten, stabbed, and broken. Each time I survived and came out swinging. It gives me a certain perspective on life, so many things are too minor to get worked up over, and life is too short to put up with negativity.
So raise I’ll raise a glass of the craythur to life, here’s to whatever it throws at me. I can take it.