Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"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

I'm feeling like a wet blanket this morning, and it's not because of the mountain of snow outside my door. Is it the Sandy (powerless for a week) and election hangover?

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!

23 comments:

  1. I'm sorry your Brain Bully is making such a mess of things for you right now. Maybe what you need is an inner cheerleader? It helps me whenever my bully, who sounds an awful lot like Fran Drescher, gets to be too much my inner cheerleader (Richard From Texas via Eat, Pray, Love) steps in and talks some sense into me.
    Unfortunately, he can't do much for my run-on sentences. ;)

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  2. Lena, this is another lovely post - as was the one you took down. I'm so sorry that you encountered those bullies! As for NaNoWriMo, I have great respect for those who can pull it off, but I know myself well enough to know I would just tighten up with that sort of arbitrary deadline. Best of luck with your novel and with your own process. I'll be looking forward to whatever you write.

    Mary

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary - I need to really just stay in the day for right now! Hope to see you soon!

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  3. I started Nano-ing quietly, without telling anyone, hoping that this would be the magic that would help me finish this time (I've started twice before without finishing). I'm petering out again, though. But I'm planning to keep going, even if it's just a few hundred words each day.

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  4. I'm sorry about your bad experience with angry Republicans. Makes me ashamed.

    As for NaNoWriMo, I haven't done anything in DAYS and I've only booked a word count in the hundreds for the month, though I had a 12,000 jump on the manuscript from the past year.

    I write slow.

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    Replies
    1. Oh Carrie - that makes me feel so much better!

      Delete
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