If you’re new around here you may not have heard: November is National Novel Writer’s Month, affectionately referred to by writers as “Nanowrimo” or simply “Nano.”
The idea behind Nano is that you spend 30 days just spewing out a 50,000+ word story. There’s not much (any?) thought given to making it clean and tidy, editing, spell checking or any other kind of detail. You just get the story out of your brain and into the world. Once it’s out you can neaten it up and make it presentable for others to read.
Last year was my first attempt at Nano and I fell in love. Around the first of October this year I started chomping at the bit. I couldn’t wait to do it again! As of writing this post I’m 5,840 words in and wondering if drinking 5 consecutive “5 Hour Energy” shots would give me the energy to stay awake for 25 hours straight. I want to write! The words are burning in my mind. My fingers itch. This story is BEGGING me to tell it.
People hear that I’m participating in this particular challenge and they say, “Oh! I could never do that. Writing is HARD!”
Writing is easy!
Writing is just like talking… on paper. It might even be easier than talking because when I talk you’re looking at me and judging me. My words are colored by your preconceived notions of what a chubby Caucasian woman of a certain age wearing a maxi skirt and a hoodie would say/believe/think/do. The paper never judges me. It simply accepts my words for what they are.
The computer is slightly more harsh. It tells me, with a series of red and green squiggles that it does not approve of my spelling and grammar.
I’m creating ALL. THE. TIME. There are worlds in my head that have been growing and developing since I was a little girl in the 1980s with horrible yarn bows on my pigtails. Everyone I meet is a potential character and every character in my head has a fully developed life and personality. That outfit I saw on the mannequin at the mall Saturday? That would be the perfect outfit for Raziel to wear when he meets Simone face to face for the first time. I saw a dragon fruit at Meijer yesterday. That just sounds cool. “Dragon fruit.” I bet that’s something Freyja would eat for breakfast. There are two squirrels who have spent this entire day running to my backyard for walnuts and bringing them to a tree in the front where they are stashing them in a hollow space. That’s the kind of thing Ike would notice and tell his mother about.
If you’ve ever been speaking to me and gotten the blank stare/smile/nodding combination it’s because thoughts like the paragraph, above, are never ending background noise in my head. You may be talking to me about the upcoming township election and I really do value what you are saying but I can’t help thinking that the light, refracting from the chipped fake emerald in your earring dances across your cheek like a fairy… no a water sprite… yes, that’s it… a water sprite would dance across the turgid (hmmm… turgid? Is that word too much associated with books of a certain type?) surface of a rippling pond.
Writing is release. It’s a purging. All of that babble pours out of my brain and onto the paper (or, more often, into the computer) and creates space for living daily life out here with the rest of humanity.
On the other hand, coming back from writing can be painful. If I’m submerged in one world where the moonlight is brightly shining, illuminating the sweet-smelling prairie with it’s quiet silver light and I’m suddenly ripped away by screaming children fighting over who gets to pick the next TV show to watch my brain gets all twitchy.
Editing is like trimming body parts. I’d just as soon cut off a pinky toe as a chapter of my book.
Marketing and promoting are exhausting. Trying to tap the collective consciousness to figure out just the tag line that will get people to click on MY post, as opposed to one of the other 52,876 posts that they will see today sucks at my soul. And that’s not even figuring in the effort it takes to make sure the various social media sites allow a decent number of people see the post in the first place!
Waiting is Hell. You would think that a business so utterly obsessed with deadlines would move a little faster. No such luck. You rock a book out in a month and spend another six months editing and polishing. Then you write to agents and wait. They ask for samples and you send them and wait. They ask for full manuscripts. You send them and wait. Finally you reach an agreement for someone fabulous to represent you! Hooray! They send your samples to an editor and you wait. The waiting never ever ends. You want instant gratification? Become a server. You bring food. People give you tips. It’s done. You move on. As a writer, instant gratification just isn’t going to happen.
But writing is easy. I wrote 2 blog posts, half a chapter of a novel, a newsletter article, several emails and a note to a co-worker today. Putting words on paper couldn’t be simpler.
Life is hard. People ask me to do things. They are offended if I say no. Loved ones suffer and I’m helpless to do anything at all for them. Am I doing enough to help my children grow into well-adjusted, productive, happy, healthy adults? Have I been supportive enough of my husband and his dreams? Am I contributing enough to my community, paying forward all that my neighbors have done for me over the years? Am I being wise with my money and material blessings? Did I remember to send in that form the insurance company needed? Some days I feel like I spend the whole day cleaning up poop. Some days I worry all day long about why my little people haven’t pooped.
The blank page doesn’t ask for anything but words. Any old words will do. I can tell the truth or a complete fabrication. I can recite the day’s events, share how I feel, or create a 43 hour day on a planet with 3 suns where the rocks are all purple and the rulers are gentle octopi covered in soft green fur.
Lots of things are hard. Writing? Writing is easy.
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
Why not follow LazyHippieMama on WordPress, by email or Facebook to get all the updates.
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!
f you enjoyed my blog, it would mean a lot to me if you’d toss me a vote by clicking the Top Mommy Blog banner. Thanks!