Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So I won NaNo.

Seems to me like such a funny thing to say. It seems disingenuous in fact considering all the crap I let myself put down on paper over the course of the past month (NaNo = National Novel Writing Month). I was skeptical about the idea of winning NaNo before I even started. I firmly believe that in writing, as in children's sports, there is no winning or losing just how you play the game.

Well, that's a little simplistic, isn't it? We can win. There is money, popularity, good reviews, word counts. But the mind plays tricks and sometimes believing we are winners stops us up just as much as believing we are losers.

So I guess everything I needed to win NaNo, I already knew. I had learned it from yoga, from my crying daughter, from depression, from cleaning the house, from children's sports. There is only the moment and only discipline. All you can do is spend time doing what you love or whatever it is you need to get done. And the whole world is just fluctuations between those two things. And sometimes the things I love morph into the things I just need to get done but they usually morph back again - thank, God.

So yeah I deserve to win for pure tenacity. And I truly did win because I learned to trust my process. I found it validating to circle around my novel like a hawk. In the past I assumed my brain was disabled or something, not able to fly straight. This time I let it circle. And found it was heading straight down river but ever looking for prey. I discovered that when my gut is bored or disgusted with the words, it is just as well to stop and circle.

What do I have now that I am done? A book, mostly in long winded synopsis form, summary complete with motivation and character. I have to flesh out the last third into scene. And probably rewrite much of the beginning. (Oh is that all?) And I have the banner, which is darn good looking, right? I have more faith and I have fear and a very blank December ahead of me writing wise. I have been doing my morning pages as I had promised myself - 750 words every morning since I won, regardless of whether I want to or not. And it is a heck of a lot easier than the 2500 that I was doing for the first twenty days of NaNo. I think I need to commit myself to the next thing - whatever it is. Set my sights toward that and the discipline will follow. So yeah I guess I am a winner.

And I do have The Practice Room to keep me going. Come check out the schedule through the door on the right. Commit yourself. Thank goodness it is only for an hour and then you can get on with the rest of your life. Or some days it is the reverse of that, an hour that holds the rest of your life at bay while you do something that you love. Hope to see you there!