I’m finally actually participating in NaNoWriMo! I tried to start it last year but I did about two good days of writing and quickly gave up. I was trying to be an architect about the book, because I thought all good authors planned out everything before they wrote for the most part. Sure things would change along the way but at least you’re supposed to have an outline right? So I said to myself “nah, i’ll spend the next year thinking about my story and then i’ll write it in 2015.” And so that’s what I did.
I thought about my characters, and I googled stuff, and I thought some more and I never got anywhere in the story because when you’re thinking about stuff you don’t get quite as far as you do when you’re sitting at a computer and earnestly typing some stuff out.
Thankfully this year my friend Ellen is also participating and asked if we could get together every so often and write together. I was like “um hell yes! Accountability is my life blood!” and then since Jess lives here now (yay!) she joined us and since that first meeting we’ve been hanging out once a week just writing and talking and being FRIENDS and it is so great.
I know i’ve talked about how freaking hard it is to make friends as an adult before and how alienated I feel when all I want is for Julia (who lives in freaking DALLAS) to come to Target with me and it’s the worst. Well it’s especially bad now because my sister went off to college and she was like my person and now she’s an hour and a half away, which is the worst. So this year has been complicated for a couple of reasons and not having super close relationships has been hard.
I don’t want to make it sound like i’m friendless or anything. I mean I have great coworkers who I also chill with outside of school because they’re awesome and my best friend since I was five still lives here but our schedules never make sense of each other and it’s hard to coordinate.
So this new foray into hanging out with people I really enjoy being around on a regular basis and talking about things I enjoy talking about and just getting to know like minded people has been revelatory. I don’t want to oversell this whole friendship thing, but I think we’re starting a girl gang so i’m feeling pretty great about the whole thing.
Not only that but i’m actually making pretty decent progress on a story i’ve been trying to get down for over a year. Now i’m nowhere near where I should be in word count and i’m definitely not going to “win” this year but I am having so much fun. I’m gardening instead of trying to be an architect and that is so freeing! I saw Neil Gaiman earlier this month and he talked about being a gardener with his writing and it honestly blew my mind and opened up the floodgates for how I felt about my writing. It was like I was given permission to go ahead without knowing every little plot point before I write it out.
Getting to talk to real humans about the stories we’re making up and slowly getting over feeling ridiculous about your imagination is really great. I mean I do improv in my free time and so i’m used to being around people making shit up and acting like a fool and just being ridiculous because “Yes And” and all but applying that same logic to writing wasn’t something I had really thought of doing yet. I was so self conscious about it because it’s something i’ve never done before and i’m only just now getting over my “have to do it right on the first try” mindset. I’m learning from my failures and trying to practice what I preach because I tell my students that constantly!
NaNoWriMo has been so good for me in so many ways. I’m learning to go with the flow, i’m having fun creating worlds, i’m learning about myself, and i’m establishing what I feel like are pretty solid friendships.
November in general has been very kind to me and i’ll write about that later but I felt the NaNo revelations needed their own post. It’s been that great for me.
Until next time,