The year listed on my profile says 2013. Under my old profile, one I found and deleted, it’s 2008. That year, in the middle of a crazy school term, V introduced me to National Novel Writing Month, and I never looked back. Julia Cameron wrote a lot about synchronicity in her book The Artist’s Way, in a nutshell, she wrote if a person begins to practice their art, even writing morning pages; the universe starts to step in with what a person needs to take the next steps. Trust me; it sounded corny as I wrote that last sentence, imagine reading it. However, it’s starting to come true a little, enough for me to keep going.
I met some wonderful people both online and everyday life. They write personal essays and horror fiction. They have published or have started to put words down. They have enriched my life and introduced me to the ideas they hope will come full term before they give birth. Right now, as I juggle everything else, one of the people from the 2016 Writer’s Circle has given a draft of a novel to read. You’ll get an acknowledgement, she wrote. Forget the acknowledgement, I wrote back, I want to read the whole thing. Up until that point, I heard fragments from each meeting.
What about me?
That’s the eternal question.
The writers working within their genres have found their ‘thing.’ They don’t want to keep to those boundaries; they want to expand them. I keep trying different things, and to some people, it looks like an unfocused approach. To me, it’s trying to not only find my voice, but it’s also trying to find my purpose in time with indie writers, big four writers, blogging, online writing, and all points in between. I did learn who I am not. I can’t be Erma Bombeck; I can’t be Nora Ephron, Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. LeGuin, Madeline L’Engle, Toni Morrison, Alive Walker, and the list goes on. It’s not pessimism; it’s freedom. What a better way to go on than to not compare and contrast.
This year, I looked into the NaNoWriMo Rebel Criteria. After taking the Essay and Opinion Writing course through the Gotham Writer’s Workshop, doing a series of personal essays plumbed from my life would at least give me ideas for any future blog posts and fiction. The project also allowed me to embrace the hybrid known as the plantser. It took many tries to know solely outlining doesn’t work and neither does working from the seat of my pants.
It doesn’t matter if a person writes a novel, a graphic novel, or book of essays, digging out of a deficit still looks the same. I deployed my usual strategy of getting to the day before’s word totals. If I can’t get on top, I can stay in it for my own sense of accomplishment. It took one long weekend, thanks to Remembrance Day falling on a Friday, little to no plans, and grit, to write my way to the Sunday word goal of 21,666. (I ended the day, 11 pm, at 21,876.) After feeling unsteady for the past few months, I felt chuffed as the Brits would say. The rebel has a cause and she intends to add another winner to her history.