How to ride an elephant   Leave a comment

So once again I’ve signed up with National Novel Writing Month — Nanowrimo to the online community of the literarily hopeful and the creatively insane.  The goal is 1667 words per day, enough that by month’s end, you have a first draft of 50,000 words.  A decent goal, and a manageable one, provided you don’t spook yourself, or find excuses more enjoyable than writing.  Last year, working full time, I wrote 10,000 words of a novel — a solid opening week.  Then I lost it.  Teaching draws on many of the same energies as writing, and I simply didn’t have the energy to do it all.  Now, on leave and still healing, I find, a year and more out from follow-up radiation after cancer surgery two years ago this month, I’m back at it.

I’m posting this here to give myself added reason to finish this year:  peer pressure!  You’ll know just how I’m doing, because I’m letting you in on the mess and marvel of it all.

As I’ve learned repeatedly, whenever I write, I discover something worthwhile. So in one way it doesn’t matter if I “finish” because I’ll still have material to work with.  Not an excuse for not meeting the Nanowrimo challenge, but a none too shabby side benefit of committing to, and following through on, getting words on the page.

The novel I’m working on is VERY “drafty” — beyond an unusual main character, I don’t have much more than a couple of plot ideas, not enough — yet — to hang an entire novel on.  But I’m not worried.  I have an opening scene completed this morning that already introduces two characters I hadn’t anticipated. And that gave me some stuff to hang a piece of plot on that came into view as a result of the scene.  So, progress!

I’ll update you on my word count every time I post here, and let you know how it all turns out — maybe even post a couple of excerpts from time to time, as it takes shape.  Right now I’m at 676 words.  I need another thousand just to make the daily average.  So far so good!

Now to make good on the inwardness and creativity released on Samhain.  Suddenly, no surprise, I have several other things to write as well:  birthday cards to my uncle and first cousin, a thank-you note and a full length letter to colleagues, incidental email, and a monthly initiate’s report for another path I follow.

Oh, and about the elephant of the title?  Maybe it’s a symbol for writing.  Or not.  Just a title, perhaps.   Or something about memory and size and sheer bulk.  Or solidarity among writers.  Or herd instinct.  Whatever the case, since you’ve been patient, here are not one but several elephants for your pachyderm viewing pleasure:

Here‘s the URL.

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Posted 1 November 2011 by adruidway in creativity, elephant, fiction, tools, writing

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