Here is another piece I wrote for you! I hope you enjoy. This one is in the second person! Something new for me.
Your Writing Ritual
Every year you participate. NaNoWriMo, to everyone in the know. When you have to explain it, it becomes National Novel Writing Month, but when talking with other writers, who haven’t heard tell of it, you can’t help but feel a certain superiority. How could they not?
All year long you plan ahead, thinking to that one month where you will write with abandon, hammering out as many words every day as you can muster. Bemoaning the fact yet again that you took on this challenge, yet somehow finding the moxie to finish.
This too though comes with its own little mini rituals. You of course can’t write without your proper writing kit. Which has to include your favorite pen, the blue fountain pen, no others will do. Even though at the end of the day you are going to be typing on your laptop in Scrivener. But who can blame you? That pen is lucky! It holds the key to your muse. But then don’t forge that you have to do the writing down in the waiting room at the Mayo Clinic. Sure that sounds strange to many, but there is something about the ambiance to the place that allows you let go of everything else and just hammer out those words faster then you can even type them. It truly is a mystery how a place matters, you just know it does and so you must stick with it.
In those sad times when you can’t go to ‘your spot’ to write, you have learned that you must write at nine p.m. at night. No other time will do. It is the magic moment. You prepare yourself, always making sure you are home by seven so that you can start getting things ready to write. It is a process. You have to pick the right tea for the night, you have to find your writing kit, make sure you have the right snacks setting by your computer, not to mention get your friends on hangouts ready to sit and write with you.
Really, what self-respecting writer does it alone?!? It is imperative that you drag your friends, kicking and screaming into NaNoWriMo with you, of course. They also give you someone to bemoan the word count that you are behind on, yet again. While comparing yourself to that one gal who finished her fifty thousand words in the first week. You just know that she cheated, there is no other way to have accomplished such a feat.
After you have your friends lined up, you go back to your tea and actually go through the process of heating the water, but you do this the old fashioned way. On the stove, in your whistling tea kettle. Pouring it over your tea, you savor the flavor as you contemplate what you are going to be writing about this time. Knowing full well that when you get to your computer and that blank page is blinking at you, the words will never come.
Sitting down at your computer, blue fountain pen at hand, tea steaming near you, and bag of Cheetos in your lap, you gently place your fingers on the keys. Lightly stroking them, waiting for the inspiration you are sure is never to come, but then the impossible happens… words start flowing out of you and you are off, lost to the world of words that will amaze and delight you when you stop and read them. Finding more than double your usual word count in half the time. Wondering what magic has befallen you, thankful your muse was not fickle this time.
Well, there you have it, another piece helping my writing grow! I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments below what you thought!
Well, there has been a change in plans, but the lists are soon to come, I am sure! Instead, may I share with you a piece I wrote for one of my creative writing classes. This is a piece from my memoir collection, please don’t hesitate to tell me what you think!
The room was silent, death hovering in the air. It was so thick you breathed it in with every breath, a heaviness that was cloying. Her eyes flew open, clear for the first time in days. A stark contrast to the glazed over look she had lately.
She ripped off her oxygen mask, something that had become an accessory over the course of a month. Leaving her lips ragged and chapped. There was a wildness about her, a finality in that moment.
“Fuck” she swore. The word loud and sharp in the darkness. Her eyes looked around wildly, her hand grasping. I moved up close to her, taking her seeking hand in mine.
“I am right here, love. It is alright.” I assured her. The hand I clasped tightly, cold and limp, a jarring contrast to the heat of mine and the strength she always had.
Her breath wheezed in, raggedly a couple times. A heavy cough rattled out, foam and blood dotting her lips. She shook her head no and slammed the recliner shut with a strength that had been lost to her days ago, surprising us all.
Looking directly in my eyes, a calmness settled over her. “I love you” she whispered to me. The finality in her voice makes me suck in all my air, holding my breath to keep the tears threatening to fall at bay. Her eyes widened and all the air left her in a final ragged gasp. The room going silent in the predawn hours once more. Stunned silence keeping us all still only moments. Kenny reaching up, feels for a pulse, grabs his stethoscope and says quietly to the room, “time of death 5:43” the tears running freely down his face as he calls his own daughters time of death. My wife was gone.
I hope that you enjoyed this piece, and again, leave any thoughts in the comments below!
Everywhere you look these days you see writers either loving or hating on NaNoWriMo, in its various forms. I genuinely think they don’t understand the true nature and idea behind why it exists. There are those who believe that it is ruining writing, well I can’t imagine anything further from the truth! So, here is my list of reasons to participate in NaNoWriMo in all its glorious forms!
- It lowers my expectations on myself! Ultimately it is all about getting the words down, on the page! So that means that I give myself permission to not always write perfectly, which gives me more creative freedom to explore and express ideas in ways I may otherwise never think of!
- It has taught me that no matter how busy life gets, we can always make the time for what matters to us! You may want to say, yeah but… Well I say, no wild YeahButz allowed! Do you want to know why? Ask me sometime about my first ever NaNo experience… while I was getting married (a do it yourself wedding with no help), and going to Mayo Clinic several times, not to mention a week long honeymoon, oh and did I mention said wife’s birthday! So, yes, it can be done, no matter how busy you might be!
- I have learned something new about how writing works for me! Like, I learned how to “outline”, at least so far as the format that seems to work alright for me! I also learned what a scene/chapter is! Oh sure I know what it is! but I learned how they work for me! These were big deals! And I always learn something new each time!
- It prevents writing from being this static environment! I can’t write alone. Strange I know right? But there it is. If I am not chatting with a couple friends, and occasionally bouncing ideas back and forth, I can just sit and stare at my work for hours!
- The last thing I am going to leave you with is this. It gives me a deadline! You know… an actual reason to get the words on the page. More than… yeah I want to do that! There are tons of other people also doing it, and I want to be in the winners circle at the end!
There you have it folks, just a few reasons why I love NaNoWriMo! I will continue to participate, until for some strange reason the well of stories in me dries up. Considering I have new ideas every week I am sure that will never happen!
What about you? Do you love it? Hate it? Swear by it? Tell me your story!