Greetings, HaQ readers! I hope this day finds you well and happy.
I am just coming down from the crazy writing ride that is NaNoWriMo, which means that I am discovering just how high I can pile the laundry and what was in the bottom of that sink full of dishes. (Uh oh) NaNoWriMo is indeed a ride.
For those not yet familiar with this November occupation, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. You can find their website here: NaNoWriMo. It’s awesome. Every November writers of all kinds from all over the world sit down on the first of the month, crack their knuckles and limber up their keyboards and attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. That’s an average of 1667 words a day. I can tell you from experience – most days are not “average”. Sometimes you’re lucky to get in 400 words. Sometimes, you hit a seam and it’s go-go-go until you can hardly see any more, and you’ve blasted off 5000 words.
This year I wrote more than a third of my 50K words in the last week, and I’m still not really sure what I created. This strikes me as both funny and ridiculous. But, whatever it is – I have participated in creating something. The marvelous Elizabeth Gilbert has a TED talk and a book (Big Magic) in which she suggests that when the creative process takes over, it’s more like the art comes THROUGH you, not FROM you. Stephen King has said it’s like channeling an alien radio station. Yeah – it’s like that. And when it happens, it is the purest kind of thrill.
I have hatched stories and watched them grow in front of me nine times. I’ve reached the 50,000 word goal five of those times. These aren’t quite whole novels; 50,000 words is somewhere between half and two-thirds the heft of a full length book. There’s usually enough there for me to see what the whole thing would look like. What I like about writing this way is that, to write that much, you have to let go of perfection, yank the backspace button off your keyboard, and just let it rip. It’s all process without worrying about the product. It’s so much fun. At the end there is a creative work that wasn’t there before, ready to be sculpted into a final form. When I decide it’s time to let this project out into the world, I promise to let you know. For now, we both need a little time off.
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful week – and, if you have a project begging you to rip off the backspace for a while – DO IT! I dare you. The world is a better place when creative energy is flowing.
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!
My story collection is available on Amazon: Dog Days . If you have a dog-lover who likes to read on your list, it may be just the thing! My sweet little Chiquita is the cover model and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you check it out.