Friday, November 6, 2015


I am currently participating in NaNoWriMo- National Novel Writing Month.  It is a crazy, worldwide thing in which one commits to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.  I have started this quest the past three Novembers, and have yet to get much beyond day 10.  I am more diligent this year though- I am logging my word count on the NaNoWriMo website and even almost attempted attending a "write in" last night at my local library. 

(I made it to the library and scoped out the very minuscule-y small conference closet in which everyone was gathering.  They were all sitting very close together around an oval table and taking turns telling about their novels.  Every single bit of my introverted personality came rushing to the surface and I almost passed out right on the spot just thinking about walking in that room.  I rushed upstairs to Maise and very forcefully exclaimed there's no way in Hercules' uncle's domain that I'm walking in that room.  She was sad for me until I described it to her...then she shuttered with me.  I walked past again an hour later, taking a coffee break from all the writing I was doing at an upstairs table, and they were still all talking to each other.  I ran.) 

Folks,  the moral...theme... of this part of the post today is:

Introverts writing your novel alone, while a group of outgoing strangers writes their novels together, one floor below you. 

Seriously.  Yes.  Exactly.

Moving on...

NaNoWriMo is hard.  I'm coming to realize that fiction writing is tough for me.  I think I might suffer from a sufficient lack of imagination.  As much as I love story...and I truly deeply do...I'm not sure I can create it out of thin air.  The words either come too easy and are crap, or they come forth painfully...and still sound like crap.  

But I'm sticking this thing out to the end this time.  I need to finally finish what I've started.  This might be the crappiest 50,000 words to ever be typed, but they are gonna be there.  Formed out of nothing.  

And you know what?  I don't even honestly care that I might not be a fiction writer.  I feel relief at that, actually.  It frees me up to be who I am...a writer.  Yes.  But maybe not a literary made up story writer.  Maybe a truth teller of real life writer. 

I didn't write for almost two years.  I let life knock me to the ground and I stayed there. 

Honest- life is still shoving the air out of my lungs.  Just when I think we've hit solid ground...a stable place...upheaval strikes again.  But I'm gonna write this time.  I have a million excuses why I could stop.  A huge one is the fact that exactly none of the words I'm writing right now count towards the 50K.  Ugh.  The point is it doesn't matter what I write, only that I finish.   

For all you novelists out there, please do not take offense at my words.  You create beautiful stories  and I will consume them gratefully, humbly honoring the fact you can do what I'm realizing I can't. 

Some of the best and most remembered art is created at the low points in our lives.  When we have pain, worry, fear, doubt or loss, the truth that comes out of those moments is as real as we can get.  I'm not sure what perpetually happy people write...probably self-help books for the rest of us.  I'm sure self-help books are least the good ones.  I digress...

I am fighting to become who I am.  Aren't we all fighting to become who we are? 

For me, it is a writer.  NaNoWriMo is for me.  Not for the art, but for the struggle to create it.  In the midst of chaos and discomfort, I will be real and write.  What will you do today to become who you are? 

I'm going to end this post with a song.  It might be completely cheesy and heavy handed, but I must.  I heard this song twice tonight as I was driving home from work and doing that thing in which I flip radio stations incessantly.  And while I know I'm seriously late to the fan club on this song, I adore it.  It is way too pop for my usual tastes, but it resonates in my soul. (Besides, I discovered Mumford and Sons before essentially the rest of the world, so that should last me in cool points for...well, forever.)

I read tonight that the artist of this song wrote it while in a very low place in her music career.  This incredibly strong song came from a place of pain and struggle and confusion.  Fighting.  Becoming.  It paid off.