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Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo’

Writing.  I am a writer.  I’m even a novelist.  …”published novelist” is yet to be, but I’m working on it.  The whole NaNoWriMo experience has changed me, I must say.  It dissolved the belief that I might not be able to complete a novel, for one thing.  So that concern is gone.  It also gave me something to call “finished”.  There is something in a finished product that changes its creator, whether it’s a finished novel or a finished knitted project – in my case, that would be the felted knitted bag I completed just after Christmas 2011.  I’d knit the darn thing in about a month, here and there, sitting and watching TV…it wasn’t difficult, and with felting projects you don’t have to be perfectionistic (did I actually write that?) with your knitting as it’s all going to meld together into a smooth new fabric once you wash the hell out of it in hot water, so who cares if you twist a stitch?  But I put that bag away for about a year after I’d finished the actual knitting of it, thinking it would take too long to seam together, and then I was nervous about the felting process…  As usual, when I took the project out it took all of a half hour to seam together!  An entire year with that bag sitting in my stash of unfinished projects, and it took a bloody half hour to finish.  And another half hour in the washing machine.  Talk about agitation! LOL  (come on, you know…agitation…washing machine…?)  And now whenever I look at the finished bag, it makes me smile!  I love it.  I keep it in sight, on top of a bookcase where no purse should be…but it covers up another unfinished knitting project very nicely :-).

With NaNoWriMo you get one month to finish your novel.  30 days.  1666 words a day.  Or in my case, 2000 words three times through the week, and 5600 words on Saturday.  But technically, the only thing that happens if you don’t make the 50K word requirement is that you are not a “winner”.   This could play havoc with one’s ego.  Good!  Egos need to be played havoc with from time to time.  And I let mine run amok…it was so much fun to do!  I got into the challenge of the word count, so that was the initial motivation, but the true motivation was my story.  Which is why I was writing at all.  But I needed something to get me out of my head and into my creative side.  It doesn’t take much…just writing “The…” gets you writing.  Or I would actually have….FUN with it, and “allow” myself to write badly.  And “badly” more often than not turned out to be “well”.  You just never know how it’s going to go.  And those moments where you’re lost in the story, fingers flying across the keyboard as you try to type as fast as your creative mind is telling the story…those are moments to be cherished.  Those are the ones where I suddenly stop, look around, and go “what time is it??” and see that absolute hours have passed.

So joining NaNo this year served more than one purpose, but the main one is that it got me out of a writing rut, or a non-writing rut.  I know now that I can write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.  And that ending is very rewarding.  I used to look at “endings” as a loss of something, as they often are, but even “good” endings can feel sad, like when I ended my education for my degree – although I now do not feel a compunction to go back to school for anything other than sheer pleasure in taking a language class, I felt sad at the ending of the role of “student”.  I had identified with it and liked it.  It took awhile to let it go from my psyche, but it wasn’t as painful as I thought it might be.  And now I’ve added the role of “writer”.

And what a community I’ve joined!  Holy cow…I’ve met so many people this past year who write, some of whom are published.  It’s wonderful.  I’ve joined an online writers group of knitting friends on Ravelry, the knitting website.  So now I write in the company of writers who knit.  At work I’ve just met another writer who works in my building and who will shortly be published – Aretha C. Smith.  And I’ve decided to start a writers’ group at the university where we all work.  Aretha’s publishing journey began a year ago when she made a new year’s resolution to finish (there’s that word again) a novel she had been writing for a few years.  Once she met that goal she didn’t hesitate to submit the story for publication, and the rest is writing history.

This is the writing life.  It’s a community of people whose passion is to tell the story their creative spirit wants told.  It could be romance (Aretha), sci fi, how-to, Young Adult (Nicole), or murder mystery (me).  E-books or paper.  Published or not.  But most of all, writing is a process, like running – a night of bad writing is better than no writing at all, just as a bad run is better than no run.  Tonight is Ravelry writing night.  I have no idea what I’m going to write…I will let my protagonist, Alex, decide how he wants to behave and I will just be the conduit for his story.  Happy writing!

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