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A hot, sweaty mess
Tangled in sheets
Surging and throbbing
A shivering body
Twisted with need
Moaning and groaning
A sleep-deprived mind
Blistered with fever
Burning and dreaming
A damp night’s journey
Broken by sickness
coughing and wheezing
A cool morning salvation
Freed of discomfort
Sleeping and healing
Yes, it is nearly that time of year for me again. 50,000 words written in 30 days. 36 days and counting.
But why do I participate in Nanowrimo?
I know not everyone believes in the Nano style of writing without correcting or editing for 30 days solid. (I write that way the majority of the time anyway so, it wasn’t a new concept to me.) I’ve heard all kinds of reasons and many more excuses from writer friends about why Nano isn’t for them. Such as a “real” writer doesn’t need a competition to write. Or the infamous “Nano encourages bad writing” which always makes me laugh. But they are not completely wrong.
Nano does encourage bad writing, but only in the sense that everyone’s first draft is a stinking pile of potential that still needs rewrites and editing. Nano encourages the writer to finish the story, not get bogged down in polishing every single word as it comes out along the way. As for the “real” writer… I don’t need challenges or contests to write. I write most days of the year outside of Nano, and while I know some writers only create during Nano, the ones I know spend the rest of the year revising, editing and rewriting – so still writing all year. I’m a writer because I love to write, not because of the way I choose to write and no less real because I use Nano as one of my writing tools. As writers, we are not competitors on opposite sides but rather colleagues. – There will never be enough books in the world, you know! – But I’ve wandered a bit.
Why Nano for me…
It’s the deadline, and the accountability Nano provides. Can I set deadlines for myself? Of course, I learned in college that some of my best work is produced under the pressure of a deadline, but the accountability is another story. Just knowing that my friends, family and fellow writers are cheering me on makes the difference. I don’t want to let them down. Also, I’m a bit competitive, so watching how my fellow writers are doing throughout the challenge keeps a fire under my butt. I love watching my little graph get higher and higher as I write. It becomes a game and brings fun to my writing particularly on days when the story isn’t flowing well.
Is Nano for you?
Maybe or maybe not, but think of participating this year. It’s free, and you have nothing to lose. Even if you don’t make the 50,000 words, even if you only write 1,000 words all month, that’s still 1,000 more words on your novel than you have right now. And you might just surprise yourself.
When it’s time to stand up,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to speak out,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to rally forth,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to teach,
I hope you will.
It’s all around you.
Opportunity lost in silence.
Every day it’s time.
Break the silence!
Seize the opportunity!
End the -isms!
I hope you will!
(Full Definition of ism by Merriam-Webster: 1: a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory 2: an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief)
Heat waves dancing in the streets
Birds singing to the rising sun
Squeals of laughter through the rain of sprinklers
Sidewalk chalk art
Popsicles and ice cream cones
Camping at the Lake
ATVs, SUV’s, no more ABC’s
School’s out for summer.
Blah, blah, blah.
Promises to be broken.
Yep, it’s that time once more.
The time that my fellow Americans either look upon with dread or hope, sometimes both.
The time when it becomes okay to look for the absolute worst in a person and broadcast it as loudly and often as possible. In any other venue, it would be called bullying and harassment. But we accept it all as “part of the process” and information we “need to know” so we can choose the right candidate to represent our country to the rest of the world. But really isn’t it just a game of Gossip?
It’s also the time we hear how “horrible” the last guy was and he screwed everything up. As if they were the sole individual making all the decisions, and not part of hundreds of men and women pushing their own agendas and voting on the actions our country will take.
Don’t you think it’s time to change?
When did it become okay to use hate speech toward our country’s leaders? When did it become okay to treat your fellow man with such disdain and cruelty, solely because they aren’t part of your party?
Respect the office even if you don’t agree with the policies of the person elected to that office. Get involved in finding the truth for yourself instead of letting the media and other people tell you what’s true. Don’t antagonize your neighbors for doing the same. Don’t spread lies. Go out and vote for the people you believe will best represent you as an American and not just once every four years, but every election all the way down to the civic levels. Encourage others to do the same, without bullying and harassment. Don’t pretend your voice doesn’t matter.
Find your sense of common decency again America. I love you, and I know you can be better than this.
I have always been a storyteller. I started writing stories as a teenager though I began making them up long before. Only within the last handful of years have I started to seriously pursue writing as a career. Sometimes, I struggle with the feeling that I am utterly inadequate at it, especially as I strive to improve my craft. There are so many people out there to tell you what you should write and how to go about it.
I have learned many things about being a writer and an author over that time. The single most important piece of knowledge I have discovered is this.
Trust yourself, you know what you are doing.
You can learn how to become a better writer, improve your skills through classes and how to books/articles, but no one can tell you how to write your novel.
Your voice and your style are part of your personality, something you develop over time. Your story is unique. It is crafted through your personality.
So, write it down and trust yourself, because you know you better than anyone else. Only you can write your unique story.