National Novel Writing month kicks off November first and invites us to try to write a novel in just 30 days. Someone else calculated and said that is 1677 words per day at a 50,000 word total. I’m absolutely certain this can be done. Think about it, a couple of pages a day? And it doesn’t have to be about anything in terms of perfection or even in line with what you are writing. The hope would be that it is, but I already read where someone else said, face it, you will be writing a lot of garbage (or something to that effect).
The reason I know for certain this can be done is because I once wrote one hundred and ten pages, a mini-novella if you would be so kind as to let me employ the term, in a Labour Day, yes, that’s right three day weekend. Unlike this coming November challenge, I will not be in a position to dedicate myself fully to the writing of a book as I was during those three days. Yes, it’s true, there is life beyond WordPress.com and I do have one, lol.
Now, please understand that I am not in any saying what I wrote was good or publication worthy. It was not. It is still not. But it was one of the best experiences I have ever had in terms of challenging myself and proving to myself that I could actually write a longer work than a short story. The confidence gained from the act alone propelled me on to try further expanding my writing abilities, education and contests I would never before have even considered entering.
There is a strength born of discovering you can do something so well that you also discover you do not want to or cannot stop. I am not saying that I do it well in the eyes of the world and I am not saying that everything I produce is worth reading. If I ever reach that level of natural literary production, I’m sure you will find that for yourself.
In the meantime, I write on my blog, I write collections of short stories and I am working on my fifth book. Yes, fifth. Again, I do not say great, only my fifth book. The others I consider only fit for campfire starter but that’s quite okay. They were my learning ground and oh what learning ground they were. I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything. I would even celebrate by a book burning but I need them. They remind me of what not to do, lol.
In writing, you must simply commit yourself and be faithful to it. If you can’t, then it’s probably not the write activity for you. Even if you have a cause or a specialized topic and you find yourself nearly pulling your own teeth out just to produce for your pages, rethink the matter. Maybe you need more education.
Maybe you need more motivation.
Or maybe you just need to write MORE. Yes, I said write more.
Writing more is the best, swiftest and possibly the only route I’ve ever known to writing better or producing more. Be prolific in producing without limitations or expectations of outcome. Be Doctor Seuss for few minutes or jump down the rabbit hole and chase after Alice for a while. Like limbering up your body for exercise, your mind loosens as you try different things and write more, even if it’s only notes to friends who don’t really care that you’ve just dyed your hair blue. It really does not matter what you write. Writers write as my former Creative Writing Diploma program instructor, Ed Griffin, said.
So, NaNoWriMo approaches and there is angst among us as dense as the threatening chill of frost in the autumn air.
Who cares? Cut through it to the essence of who you are and what your abilities really hold for you in terms of gifts you did not know you had. You’ll do it. And if you do, I would be most honoured if you would share your results with me, I promise to read and tell you what I think (if you would really like to know that is, lol). No expert by any means, I am just another reading mind out here in the world of Jane and Joe Public with a lot of opinions roiling around in my head and new ones forming as I read and write more. What I know for sure is what moves me. If you do that, I will tell you. If you don’t, I’ll be quiet. It’s kind of how I function here on WordPress.com. I don’t say much if I don’t mean it. You’ll get to know me if you move me, eventually, I hope, lol.
There is a magic in writing even when others say, ‘what a nice little hobby’ or ‘you need to get a real job’ that no one can take away from you. It is like birthing the most magical creation of your own essence, the very ethers of the self that no one else can ever see or speak to in the same way that you, uniquely do. In writing more about whatever it is we write about, I believe from my own experiences, that we find ourselves writing more of whatever it is we personally choose to write about without very much conscious effort at all. It’s almost as though the writer in us takes over and we are no longer driving the body of ourselves and that’s okay. As long as your dinner is not on fire, the kids are okay and your day job isn’t leaving messages asking “where are you? it would be nice if you could show up for work today.”
Consider this: you may spend an hour a day in front of a television or other machine communicating with people that don’t really need to hear from you today anyway. There is no emergency, they can wait. Well, there may be an emergency. If you don’t write, that is. Because your choice to stay on the couch or do computer chatter might cost you the precious time you could otherwise be writing through. Think about it, what is an hour a day? Not much, really is it? Well, it might be, if you don’t do it. Not only might the ERT have to save you from the bloat of your belly one day but the bloat of your mind might mean they never bring you home again. Okay. I know, I know, that was really very dramatic and entirely for effect but I do want to stress that, at the very least, if you want to write and just keep saying it, you are not going to be a happy camper and it has to show up somewhere.
Right now, the sun is shining, I should be out in it as the sun is falling in the sky. It will soon be dusk, then dark and I will have lost that warmth on my skin that I am thinking of even as I write this to you. But I would far rather take a walk under the stars than sacrifice the importance of writing. It’s a connection to myself, the purest, strongest and most joy producing connection I have. There is no meditation or exercise that produces the same kind of satisfaction or joy as a word well written in my world.
Speaking of exercise, I have a workout I want to get done today/tonight as well. Exciting Friday night, huh? Work out, walking and writing. Hey, the three WWW’s. I love it. My new blog title: WORKOUT WALK WRITE, but not necessarily in that order, lol.
It’s been a long couple of weeks and I’ve needed something to purge the resulting cobwebs from the nether regions of my mind and what do I happen across but this piece on WordPress.com about National Novel Writing month. Not only has it kick started my brain into thinking I just might try this challenge myself… whoa… wait… I am not there yet… just sayin’ Oh, I already know how those just sayin’ and other phrases annoy but if you can give me a better one that says what I mean more succinctly, I’ll use it.
Here’s the kicker. Christmas is coming, everyone is busy, it’s uber study season once again and everyone has commitments out the ying yang. Myself included But it all starts with you. Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see” and I think it applies even on a simplistic level as much as it does to a ginormous (cliche/slang openly admitted here) social issue as it does in our personal goals and lives.
This was a tease. No not a tease, I am not a tease. I meant to say test. This was a test. If you are still with me, I’ll thank you to leave that seat belt on for just a few more words from the pilot of this keyboard. Don’t worry, no emergency landing gear will be employed. It is all smooth sailing from here on out. Or should that read “down.” Yes, down, thank you, wordsters. We will proceed down in an orderly fashion and no stairs will be necessary as we will open the doors of the plane and you can simply slide into yourself at the bottom of the chute.
It’s your life, your pen/keyboard and your choice to enter the NaNoWriMo challenge or not. Well, I ask you why not? I just wrote this in thirty five minutes completely unedited so forgive me any errors as I will not be correcting them but this is done to prove a point. Partly to myself but also to everyone out there who doubts their own ability to produce anything worthwhile or even to dip one wary finger into the November novel writing challenge. Do it, please, you’ll see. The reason I know this is because I hadn’t a clue what I was going to say but I am already at 1670 words right now and more counting… I rest my case.
If I can free fall like that with no net to catch me for all the world to see and not care about my mistakes, my winding prose that may actually wind some eyes, you can do it. See, now at 1727. I’m off to take my walk now, the sun is still here. Then my hour workout, then I might do another word workout of half an hour later tonight. This was a great test, I really enjoyed it and hope you got something out of the read. You can do the November Novel because even if you don’t succeed in finishing or drop it part way through, at least you tried. Better to have tried than nothing at all. OH! I guess I have a new blog to open now, too, lol… (1833 words already, lol)
What are you waiting for?