RSKdetroit

am writing

Tag: nanowrimo

I Nanoed.

 

Nearly every day I did, Nano. This year I received no badge, but I made great headway on a story I’ve been meaning to write for a long long time, and I feel great that I’ve entered this contest for 3 years now.

For 2018, these were my stats. I think I missed writing 3 days out of the month (the holiday and a day with a really long doctors appointment). There were a few days that I only managed 400 and some words, but most days I averaged at about 1,200.

The novel was called Freedom Falling, and as with most of my writing it was based on a true story. That, in itself, became one of the hardest parts. diving through old memories every day got sticky, left me with weird feels. Because of which, I lost steam a few times, but other times I’d hit a moment of lucidity and my writing flowed and flowered and filled me with pleasant feelings.

While it was refreshing to work on this project, I’m eager to get back to another book I’ve been working on that doesn’t require deep diving into my shadowy past – an education book on tarot called My Tarot Gatherings. This book, I’ve been working on since about… June of 2018 and have made incredible progress. In tandem, I created an online persona/company called Esotarot Earth. The last thing I did for this project before breaking for Nano was create my first tarot video. Now that I’ve been away from the tarot project for a month, this is what I’ve learned:

Social media is the death of all my creative impulses. 

The constant need to build a social media following took over the joy of what I was doing, tainted it, and made me anxious to continue. This reaction to social media is entirely a me thing and has forever been my Achilles heel, but man… all I want for Christmas is my pre-internet impulses to come back. Those days of yore when the creating was more important than the advertising – the impulses more pure because there was no pressure to perfect the ascetics of marketing. Creation is such a delicate thing. For me it’s as fine as the finest tip pen… which reminds me of a lyric I wrote back in like, 2008 for a song called Purples:

Rowing through roses and wine, yeah we do it all the time, because we are far to free and able. And I write my future with the finest tip pen, and for all it depends on, it fades before it makes a good foundation, something I can stand on, something to depend on.

Creation, is such a delicate thing. I’ve never liked pushing myself in areas I’d rather not be, that is, out in the public arena. Even age has not made me more capable of this.

I want to change how I apply myself to my future projects. I want to take away the pressure of social media. My goal is to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be anymore than what I am, which is… a person few get to experience who makes things that few get to witness. They matter to the people they matter too and that should be enough.

In closing, Nano is an exercise in this, in what creativity means to the individual. I Nanoed because the impulse was there to write, and I wrote (nearly) every day because it felt good to set goals for myself. I fell short of 50,000 words, and truth be told, I’ll probably scrap the 35,000 that I did write. It’s a process that is important for we as creators to experience.

Today, I’ve shared my thoughts in a semi-public way, and that feels good. Tomorrow, I’ll decide what makes me feel good and do that.

 

Advertisements

Nanowrimo 2018 is here!

It’s NaNoWriMo again!!! For those of you who know, that means – National November Writing Month. It’s a wonderful challenge for all us writers out there to write a novel in one month – roughly 60,000 words. That means, writing has to take place EVERY DAY or you won’t win. What do you get if you win? A FRIGGIN’ FINISHED NOVEL!!! And how good would that make you feel?

I know it made me feel pretty dern good in 2015 when I finish “From the Other Seat”. Man, I was so excited about the fact I had finished my first novel that I did that total novice thing, signed up at Reedsy, found me an editor, paid a hefty fee to have it edited only to realize that the novel was SO far from being ready. Editor dude made a few brash critiques and I took that as, “THE NOVEL SUCKS. CHANGE EVERYTHING”. Ah rookie mistakes…

From the Other Seat

In my gut, I knew I should have taken Stephen King’s (On Writing) advice, put it in a drawer and forgot about it for 2 years, but instead I attacked it, kept editing, ripped apart the structure until it was no longer the same book. In the back of my mind I heard King’s warning, if you keep picking at a new manuscript you’ll destroy it….

Well. I did. Done destroyed it. “From the Other Seat” still exists, mind you. It lives in about 5 different versions in 8 different folders in my handy Scriviner software. I’ve opened them again recently… there’s still a novel there… somewhere. I’ll uh… fix it someday… **sigh**

This year, I’m preggers and home most of the time, thus I have a second chance at novel writing. Luckily, I have a few old ideas waiting in the wings, so while I won’t be starting from scratch, I’ll be starting anew. Arizona, Gallup (3)The new project is called, “Freedom Falling” (temporary cover, bad design, I know). It’s roughly about being a rebellious teen, and trying to grow up too fast. She’s a runaway who finds her self in the dusty desert with some shady characters where she tastes fear for the first time, loses her innocence, and her virginity, but gains a whole lot of life lessons along the way.

Boring premise? Well… I’m working on it. The point of Nano is not to be an amazing writer right from the start, but just to BE A WRITER. Write. Whatever. Just let your fingers fly. Let out the good, bad, and the ugly. Don’t edit along the way. Only move forward. There’s no other way to get through the challenge. And even if, like me, you’ll delete half the book when the challenge is through, you’ll have puked out all the bad ideas along the way. You have to get out the bad before you get to the good… I think Hemingway said that.

Anyway, I love this challenge because I make so many excuses in my normal weeks to NOT write, or at least not write in a purposeful way. And I can’t explain how satisfying it is to log in your daily word progress and watch the handy novel graph go up up up up. (If you’re curious what I’m talking about head to https://nanowrimo.org)

In light of Nano, I’ve compiled a simple list of my favorite authors. They are, as follows in order of flavor-favs.

Ernest Hemingway, Haruki Murakami, Sherman Alexie, Barbara Kingsolver, and Katherine Arden.

Not a huge list, but these peeps have been the most impactful on me.

IMG_9635

And here are a short list of books that have helped define me, in order of most inspiring:

A Moveable Feast (Hemingway) (I pretty much read this once a year)

On Writing (Stephen King)

The Shepard’s Life (Rebanks)

Kafka on the Shore (Murakami)

War Dances (Alexie)

Prodigal Summer (Kingsolver)

The Winternight Trilogy (Arden)

Women Who Run with the Wolves (Clarissa Pinkola Estes)

Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths (Evslin)

The Little Prince (Saint-Exupéry)

The Hobbit (Tolken)

Foxfire (Oates)

Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott) (all time elementary school life-changer favorite)

The Secrets of Dr. Taverner (Fortune)

Journey to Ixlan (Castaneda)

Good luck to all you fellow writers out there!!! See you in December <3

Onward! to NaNoWriMo 2016

img_20161023_094705_

Most writers already know, NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. I’ve had a few conversations about this with a friends already. General consensus: we’re all going to attempt it this year, regardless of that other pressing project in the works.

Last year, I completed From the Other Seat for Nano. It was challenging and rewarding and I’m thankful to have done it. This year, I’m still working on From the Other Seat. While I did send it off to an editor I found over at Reedsy and while I’ve been sharing plenty of sample chapters over at Scriggler, with this book in particular, I think the content was, and possibly still is, too close to me to be editing at this juncture. Even though I’ve been editing for a year (jeeze, that sounds bad), in truth I should have followed the advice of Stephen King and stuck it in a drawer for 6 months to 2 years. I didn’t because I didn’t have another project to focus on (which is healthy practice and prevents oneself from getting exhausted by the first book.)

I’m opting to set aside From the Other Seat to participate in Nano this year and I think this will be precisely what the doctor ordered.

Which brings me to this spread. I asked the tarot where I’m at in my writing process. I did a three card spread because I drew The Eight of Swords first. This is where I’m at in the process, for sure, but that’s certainly no solution, so I drew the two others, The Two of Pentacles and The Page of Swords, as clarifiers- and how clear that message became!

It’s helpful to know that swords represent any process of the mind, thoughts and feelings that we internalize, but they also represent communication- writing in particular. They’re usually somewhat negative cards just because, you know, knives are sharp and dangerous. Cutting words, devious and harmful thoughts, cold maneuvers, logical love- these are things swords can represent. (They have good qualities too, depending on the card; bravery or decisiveness, for instance.)

In this case (and I’m strictly consulting my own intuition here) I see The Eight of Swords as me, surrounded by my pages. I’m bound up and I got that blindfold on because, like I said, at this point those pages are too close to me, I can’t see my way through them, I can’t editing my way out of them blind. They’re making me feel stormy and trapped which isn’t helpful to me or the book. So a choice emerges, The Two of Pentacles. I’ve an opportunity to balance the situation, and I’ve got to. Notice the grey sky has turned blue, and that blue is then mirrored in the the tunic of the The Page of Swords who comes rushing in with an exciting new idea, a bold and decisive direction – a youthful one – but fresh, nonetheless.

So there you have it. I will most definitely stick From the Other Seat in a theoretical drawer and rush forward with a new book for National November Writing Month!

What will I be writing about this year? I want to give myself a little more freedom, magic up my environments. I think it will be a love story, it could turn out to be a tragedy, but it will most likely be realistic with an element of magic to blur the lines a bit. Nothing original in that simple description, no. I can think of handful of writers that regularly do this type of writing, but it is my perspective and my writing style that needs to set me apart. I’m thinking of mermaids, longing, new lands, love and loss. I’m thinking, dry indie films and exotic records. I’m thinking of an interview I recently read in Playboy Magazine between James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhall and this bit that I found highly intriguing (quote below):

14725651_10207024303838073_2581319654956678728_n-1

Gyllenhaal: An actress said to me two days ago, “I’ve been getting so scared when it comes time for my close-up. I’m paralyzed with fear.” From my objective position, I was like, “You’re playing someone who is acting like they’re comfortable with the wildest sexual encounters. It is so much more interesting if that person sometimes is paralyzed with fear.” I don’t believe in the fantasy person who is totally comfortable with that kind of stuff. Maybe there are a couple of people like that in the world, but I’m not really interested in them. I’m much more interested in the person who acts like they’re comfortable with all those things and then sometimes is paralyzed with fear.

And I’ll leave you with MaJLo “Another Day” mostly because I love this song like it was my own heart beating, but also because he offers another glimpse into the setting of my upcoming NaNoWriMo adventure. MaJLo is based near Gdansk, Poland. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Be well, love often and enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: