Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So I Said I Wanted To Write...

I am continually surprised and encouraged by the way that, if I am listening, the Universe is constantly answering my questions, or offering me advice, or just plain looking out for me.

Ah. So I said Universe again. I could have said Universal Love, or God, or God's Love, or the Inimitable Life Force, or Great Spirit. What my heart feels when I use Universe is majestic, magnificent, wide-open and ever-increasing spaciousness. The amazing Consciousness that we all inhabit as Sentient Beings. In other words, all that Is. The Great I AM. But I digress.

Just yesterday, I told a friend that I had signed up for the NaNoWriMo challenge (National Novel Writing Month) of 50,000 words, in the shape of a novel, in 30 days. I told her that I'd had lots of "book ideas" and lots of ideas about what writing is or could be in my life, but that I'd never felt confident enough to really start anything.

Fear monkeys. You know. (Remember this one?)

So this collaborative frenzy of writing takes the pressure off...AND gives you a deadline. You basically just write. Fast and Furious: Imagination Drift, as it were. No pressure. (ha!)

But seriously.

And if you are able to write the 50,000 words, you upload the scrambled file to their servers' counting machine and it pronounces you a winner and you get a certificate! Neato, right?

When all is said and done, you don't even have to let anyone else read it, let alone publish it. And edit the thing? Foggeddaboudit! You don't ever even look at it again if'n ya don't wanna. You just have to let your guard down and allow your creative mind to let loose and write.

So, I also told my friend that I'd heard, here and there, throughout the years, that all you have to do is "write what you know." You see, I've wanted to do science fiction in the past and quit because I thought I had to do all my research first and then write. Well, the serendipitous part of this digressive tale happened today at lunch while I read my Writer's Digest magazine. (This is the magazine I get in the mail without ever having asked for or paid for it, to my knowledge. One day, it just started coming. Go figure!)

The writer of the article, "Falling Down the Rabbit Hole," said that only writing what you know can limit the writer to her "conscious mind...stuck in the straightjacket of [her] conscious perception of reality. This is totally contradictory to creativity, which by definition brings into existence that which hasn't been before. Your experiences can be a jumping-off point for your writing, but the key is to not be a slave to the known."

That was a useful clarification for me, but in addition to another article in the same magazine that discussed the tandem efforts of the left and right brain during the writing process, I felt like the Universe had given me a pep talk and then winked at me. So I listened to much of the advice in this issue with the focus: "Get Creative Now: How To Fuel Your Writing." And I thought, "Yes. I am doing the right (write?) thing by signing up for this novel marathon session."

It's good to feel like your on the true path, right?

So I have this germ of an idea that is a deep, dark and hidden idea. I've thought about it before but the artistic censor in my mind says, "Don't you dare! You write that and you'll be putting a pseudonym on that puppy if, and I mean IF, anyone even wants to publish that rubbish!" (Yeah, my censor is gooooooood at what it does!)

But now, picture me all squinty-eyed, with a set jaw, staring down the censor like it's "Church Lady," a comic character I can almost laugh at, saying, "You dare me? Are you talking to me? Yeah? Well just you watch. Say hello to my little friend, this novel idea, see. I'm gonna make it happen. You watch. You'll see."

So. Am I determined? You bet. Am I scared? You bet. But I'm ready inside in a way I haven't been before. Because it's all for me. You may never read what I write next month, but that's ok. It's the writing that matters most. To me.

I'm ready to write for myself! And that makes me proud. YAY!! It feels great to know you're growing and to know that Universe is right there on your side when you decide to say YES to the desires of your heart. And that's SUCH a good feeling.

(Even though I'll be writing 2,000+ words a day for myself, I'm guessing I'll still have things to say about the process at the very least, so I'll keep you posted!)

In parting, I share this quotation with you to remind myself again of the truth about writing (I used to tell this to my writing students too...it was SO encouraging to me to hear this from a writer I truly admire!) :

All first drafts are shit. You must allow yourself to fail. You only write a first draft in order to have something to revise. ~Ernest Hemingway

© Nicole J. Williams, 2007, all rights reserved.


Valerie said...

Yay! Yaayy!!! YAAYYY!!!!!
If I can have the "balls" to enter a show, then you can WRITE!! Censor be damned! Go for it!! It will be AWESOME.... because you DID it!

Camellia said...

You are off and running. Happy writing.