Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Writing Untamed in November. Why I love NaNoWriMo!

 I do many things, but I AM a writer.  In spite of the oft repeated advice that tells us that if we work at what we love, we will never feel like we have worked a day in our life, I know that to be false.  When people I know, commit to working at doing what they love, myself included - that very act of commitment turns a passionately loved hobby, into a responsibility and hence, a chore.  We may love it no less, in theory, but in reality there are many days when having to get up and put the nose to the grindstone only makes us feel overwhelmed and inadequate.

I married a college student who sang in school groups and acted in plays and had music playing over the stereo every minute that he was home. More than 20 years teaching music and drama has turned him into a man who values silence, rarely turns on music except for work and hasn't auditioned for a play in years.  He still loves music and drama but it is work.

The father of one of our son's friends, loved his hobby of woodworking, and turned his garage into a cabinet making shop.  Now he is in high demand, and under a deadline, and making what the person writing the check decides he will make.  He makes wine on the side and has fun gathering wild berries and apples from abandoned orchards.  I overheard someone suggest that he could sell his wines.  He cussed the very idea!  "I already turned one hobby into a job!  This I do for me!"

 Getting up every day and making myself write, and re-read and edit.  Making sure I am seen on facebook and twitter and Amazon.  Talking up not only my novels but those of other author's.  Trying to get in a few blogs to comment on and a few that I have written.  Making sure I have copies of my books on hand everywhere I go. All of those things are necessary and therefore not always a choice, or fun.
 I combat the monotony of daily plodding when November rolls around.  November is crazy already.  School is in full swing and Holidays require travel and family commitments beyond the norm.  Fall turns rainy here and I used to get depressed with the return of the rain.  Then I realized that the secret to combatting the dreariness and sense of overwhelmedness, was to do more.
 I signed up for National Novel Writing Month and agreed to write, A LOT, and edit not at all.  I agreed to play at what I poured onto the page and not care if it was good at all.  For NaNoWriMo, I agreed to unfreeze the mental blocks on my creativity and summon the muse and let the words gush forth unimpeded or censored and do a quick, and unedited rough draft and let the characters take me wherever they wanted to go.
 The words spring from the part of my unconscious mind that I barely sense just before drifting off to sleep.  This is the spring where flows all those wonderful ideas I sense just as I start to doze but can never remember in the morning.  Writing nearly 1700 words a day means you accept them all - well, except the contractions.  It means you don't take the time to reject anything, or question it, or think it all the way up to your conscious brain.
Then when December comes, I lock it away and forget it, sick of it by then.  I wash the mountain of Dishes by the computer and let my family back on the computer.  I go back to life, refreshed and happy with my commitment to writing.  I celebrate the holidays and know that before summer arrives I will be ready to pull out the manuscript and edit and keep or toss it - but right now, not one of these words is counting and it is still 40,000 words before I reach my Nov. 30th goal.

Take care!



  1. What a great post! True, transparent, and one I think so many of us can relate to.

  2. Dixie, thanks for commenting on my blog and hope you are following -- I'm following you now as I can't resist a mirror image, if that's what it is. But it IS eery! As you are publlishing your second novel now, while I did that a good 15 or so years ago, and now weave. AND i'm 48! though my kids I guess are younger than yours, but maybe you have some mom wisdom to share, so would be thrilled to have you follow my posts; I started out my blog as a way of promoting my fiber, but now it has gotten me back on track with my writing, as I think I've found a "voice." Glad we've found each other!

  3. Good luck, one of these days I am going to be brave enough to try it!

  4. Happy Early Thanksgiving! :) Stopping by from FNF Blog Hop. Looking for new subscribers to my blog so come on over and check it out. Hope you visit, like and follow my site...If you follow I will certainly follow you back. You are a fabulous writer. You held my attention with every word. :)