This past weekend my guy and I watched the movie Back to the Future in honor of its 30th anniversary. I haven’t seen that movie since it came out in 1985. The movie, and Marty and the professor, have aged well.
The first time I watched the entire series (Back to the Future, I, II, and III), I didn’t catch the back story of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his “chicken” button. That is, he’s a pretty level-headed kid unless someone calls him chicken, as in wimp, fraidy cat, coward.
Once someone pushes that button, Marty stops seeing sense and instead pushes through his fear and goes after whatever he’s afraid of. (And several times, gets into trouble because of his hot button-pushed head.)
But I can’t relate to that emotion, I hum to myself righteously. I don’t have any hot buttons like Marty does.
A day later, I receive a challenge on Facebook: write a book in a month. Join NaNoWriMo.
Yes, a blogging buddy entices me to sign up for National Novel Writers Month, in which crazy people (synonym: irrational, foolish, silly) sign up to write 50,000 words during the month of November.
A novel in a month.
No way, no how, is my response. I’ve been struggling with my new novel (a sequel to The Right Wrong Man) for six months now. I like what I’ve started. In fact, I love my characters, my (so far half-baked) plot, my title, and my ‘pod-filled’ chapters.
But I’m stuck.
The last thing I need is another writing challenge. Another deadline. Another way to fail.
But then this blogging friend (and you know who you are!) kind of calls me “chicken.”
“What are you afraid of?” she asks. “This is an opportunity, a challenge to meet emptiness, fear, not-knowing and vulnerability.”
“Besides,” she adds, “anyone can do it.”
But then, like Marty, I don’t want to be a “chicken.”
I’m no wimp, no coward, no fraidy cat.
So, you know what I did, don’t you?
So far, 5,000 words. 45,000 to go.
And don’t ever call me chicken.
Thanks to Google images.