Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.
"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
My Inner Bully and Writing in November
Maybe a little bit, most mostly I'm feeling resentful that I signed up for National Novel Writing Month this year and my lack of progress is a slap in the face. Why did I do this to myself?
My inner bully is waving her fists in the air and yelling discouraging words.
Go AWAY. Or at least whisper so I can think.
The process of writing every novel is unique - not just from writer to writer, but from novel to novel. I have written four novels and published one, all first drafts "shitty" and written very fast, by the seat of my pants. This one is different, doesn't want to go so fast and I've done some things differently to make me less of a "pantser" without having an outline. I have a synopsis, a setting, a protagonist/ antagonist and supporting characters, I have 6000 words yet this novel does not want to be written in a linear fashion.
6000 words is good for a week where the kids were out of school most of the time and I still had other work to do as well.
On election day, the kids were finally back in school but I was too nervous to write fiction, so I wrote a blog post instead. It was a relatively light op ed piece (by political standpoints) on voting to move forward with Obama at the helm. I decided to post it on our local Patch as well, and even though I was scared to put my heart out there, I was also excited. Why shouldn't I have a voice? I have been known to NEVER give my opinion on certain things for fear of conflict.
Yet it only took three nasty responses for me to ask that the post be taken down. (But don't worry, you can still read it here!) I had a "voice" for less than twenty-four hours, but I did not want to be the target for people who needed to vent somewhere because their guy didn't win. I felt misunderstood, as I'm sure they did, but their comments left me no room for response or to seek to understand. I felt BULLIED.
So I didn't work on my NaNo Piece yesterday either, watching the snow storm and moving through my feelings instead.
And now the kids have just gone off to school after a two hour delay and here I am, writing to see if I can let myself off the hook for not writing, so that I can write again. Does that make any sense? I need to take my inner bully head on - I know that I can't get rid of her entirely, but I can't let her take the fun out of writing - I can't let her make it a chore.
Writing is my way of processing the world - I don't need my bully to co-opt NaNoWriMo to tell me to write - it's who I am.
NaNoWriMo is not the bully - it's not the enemy - it's a fabulous community tool. Doing things as a collective can give us energy and restore our faith in the process.
The only way that bullying works on me is to get me to shut down - it's never gotten me to do anything.
I just now can start getting back to my routine of writing two to three hours a day, so we'll see what happens, okay? I'm unhooking myself from the lofty goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. And I'll try to get off of Facebook too for those hours - although a life-line during the storm AND the election - it is VERY distracting.
And congratulations to anyone and everyone who has taken the NaNo plunge!