Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Putting My Foot Down

Ok, its time for the rubber to meet the road. Its time for me to put my (imaginary) money where my mouth is. Its time for me to put up or shut up, and about a million other cliches. I have been obsessing about writing since I was a child. I have been telling those closest to me for at least the last several months that I want to write. I have been blogging for the last half dozen weeks...and I haven't written anything substantial yet. I'm a starter. What does that mean?? It means I have umpteen beginnings and even middles to all the things I have written, yet I have yet to actually finish anything! What is my problem?? I prefer to write on actual paper...its a texture thing. I like the feel of the pen in my hand. I like the smell of the ink and the notebook. I even like my penmanship. The thing that always gets me in the end is time. I have to put the notebook and pen down at some point...I have to come up for air. When I write, I write obsessively. No one else exists. Time stops. I hear no one...nothing. I am in my own little world where these characters alone are the only inhabitants. My thoughts are not my own, they belong to the people in the story. Its a little scary actually, kind of like channelling I would think. But, eventually the bubble pops. I am called to something else. I have to tend to a child, or answer the phone, or cook a meal. One by one my characters dissolve. Their thoughts and problems drift upward, skyward, to the great unknown. They do not exist. I am their only link to the concrete world and I do not even hold them here permanently. I can only hold them here as long as I concentrate on it. The second I become distracted I lose my hold over them. They vanish. Once or twice I have been able to reconnect with them to try to finish what I've started. "Now let me think, where were we??" Its never the same. The second glimpse is not as sharp as the first. Like a copy of a copy. Grainy. Blurry around the edges. There has never been a third glimpse. How can I get anything written and completed in one sitting? Short story, you say? Nope. I'm a long winded gal...detail rich and long winded. I can't say everything I want to say in one sitting. Anybody who has ever talked to me on the phone knows that first hand! So, how do I push past this (hopefully) temporary hurdle and actually finish what I start? The short answer to that is: I don't know. What I do know is that I have the desire to. I have the willingness to. Now I have the reason to. November is National Novel Writing Month, known popularly as NaNoWriMo. I just like saying NaNoWriMo, don't you? The premise is to write a novel in 30 days. 50,000 words in 30 days. Good Gravy, what a goal. I've never finished any fiction that I've ever started...and that is going to change. Now. I am already 3 days behind. That's almost 2000 words a day. What about the days I work? Can I possibly do this? I don't know, but I know that I want to. Sweet Lord, I want to. You know what? Its very likely I will fail, but I'm not going to let that stop me from trying. I am asking for encouragment. I am asking for prayer. I may even be asking for caffeine and chocolate before its over because I'll be writing like a crazy person. The finished product will probably be a poor excuse for a story. That's not really the point though. The point, for me at least, is to finish it. To actually finish what I've started would be the best early Christmas present I could give myself. Here's to an early Christmas and the end of an unwelcome era. Stop by and ask me how its going this month. It helps me to know there is someone who wants to see me succeed.


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