Tuesday, May 05, 2009

From the Archive - Happy to be here

This was part of my contribution to our group web page - www.keepwriting.org - a July 2008 mostly daily blog.

Today, I have been looking forward to sitting down and writing here. I don't really have a subject, other than eagerly anticipating writing, but I think that's a good place to start. As I mentioned in my first post, I have a consistent pattern of writing for a while, then stopping and not picking it up for a loooong time. I'd like to make this the month that writing every day, even if it's only 500 words, becomes a habit.

(It would also be great if I could develop the exercise habit, and the eating less habit, and the washing the dishes after every meal so the kitchen stays clean habit, but I just going to work on one thing at a time.)

I'd like to talk about one of my favorite events as an adult and that was NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I tried it in 2006 and didn't get too far, but I busted it wide open in 2007 and got all 50,000 words written, 45,000 of them in the last eleven days of the month. Being able to be that prolific with the words was an amazing feeling. I use that month as a touchstone to remind myself that I can do crazy, mentally and physically challenging feats. Before NaNoWriMo, I used to use getting my black belt as my reminder about taking on the big challenge, and sometimes I'd refer to graduate school. But the black belt took almost 2 years and the grad degree took six, so they didn't have the same urgency, until near the end, that writing the novel from scratch did.

A quick tangent: all of the above life accomplishments happened in my 30's. I just want to mention to my friend, Colette, who is promoting her manuscript for 30 Isn't Old at www.30-isnt-old.blogspot.com, that not only is 30 not old, it's really just the beginning of making one's mark as an adult. Sure, there are some people who make their mark young - prodigies who in their late teens get exposure for brilliance - but I think that people who make a splash in their 20's are just destined to either fade into obscurity, because they've still got six decades left to go, or have to reinvent their success in their 30's or 40's, because it's too soon.

As a separate point, I think the age of majority in this country should be 25, because you are stupid until then about almost everything, plus your personality is still developing. And I've thought this since my 20's, which I spent a lot of feeling like an immature doofus.

So, back to my point: I love the idea of NaNoWriMo and I'm still tickled that I got to participate and "win" by getting all 50,000 words written. I am already looking forward to this year. I plan to stay up to midnight on October 31st so that I can get started as fast as possible. I want to have that feeling again of being at the starting line in a huge field of marathoners, all of us doing that stretching, jogging in place thing while we wait for the event to start, then stopping and looking up as we hear the P.A. system kick on and, even though we cannot really hear what the elderly gentleman in the blazer is saying - and they always seem to wear blazers to officiate marathons, it must be in the marathon code whereas the Greeks all ran naked we will wear evening dress - we all get in start position, keeping our eyes on the man with the starting pistol, leaning forward and then, BANG, we're off. Some of us darting ahead to get some distance, some going immediately into their steady race pace to try to sustain for the whole race, and the people all the way in back, the unseeded runners, not even running yet but mentally pushing the field of runners ahead of them along so that everyone can get across the start line and really begin to race.

Right now, I think of this as practice for NaNoWriMo and "the project to be named later," that I'll be blogging about in the near future in another forum. My goal here is about 500 words a day, which is little less than a third of what I'll need every day in November, but the key thing is developing writing as a daily habit that will carry me forward for all the writing projects that I envision creating and completing.

Wow, what a great night.

~Noelle 07/03/08

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