It is my humble opinion that if you’ve taken this challenge,* you have earned the right to call yourself a writer until otherwise noted, which in this case is the thirty days of November. After that, you can regroup and reassess your position and I doubt there would be anyone who would question your reasons. The only requirement is that one completes the entire thirty days of writing.
Many who are writing novels this month might not agree with me, but that’s like comparing professional runners in last week’s NYC Marathon to those who ran to challenge themselves. And I don’t contest that point. I doubt that the majority of NYC Marathoners quit their day jobs to compete in marathons professionally year round and train full time any more that bloggers will give up steady employment to write the next ‘great American novel’, or at least a top grossing best seller. Then again, perhaps a few did, or will.
Entering the second week of my own personal marathon, I’ve noticed a few things and forgotten a few more.
Inspiration is everywhere. Once I came out of hiding, everything opened up to me. I found inspiration everywhere. From a trip to the supermarket to conversations with family and friends, ideas continue to dance in my mind.
There’s no shortage of ideas. Full sentences now begin writing themselves in my mind in the wee hours of the morning before I am fully awake, as well as when I’m in the shower. I’ve been caught a few times without a way to take them down and am left scrambling for a pen and paper. My phone or iPad is ready for dictation.
Cliche as it is, truly, no man or woman is an island. While I knew many can relate to my experiences, I was hesitant to add any more negativity to the world by talking or writing about them. Being authentic and transparent is about our shared humanity.
On a lighter note, I’ve found I laugh easier and am more playful. I’d decided to skip Christmas this year, foregoing decorations and celebrations. It felt more like a ‘have to’ than a ‘get to’ and I’d promised myself a long time ago that I was done with obligations. A family brainstorming session yesterday reignited the spirit of the season in not just myself, but in all of us, once again.
Some of the things I’ve forgotten are not quite as obviously profound, but profound for me, nonetheless.
I forgot dinner — most recently tonight, but it’s happened two other times this week and, oh well…. I planned on cooking BBQ ribs today before the temps dropped lower and I would be too reluctant to grill outside. The ribs were thawed and I’d figured out the rest of the meal. I even talked about it at breakfast. But then I headed off to create this post and became so absorbed that I forgot about dinner! Fortunately I remembered in time to apply the dry rub and pop the ribs in the oven for a few hours while I write.
As you may recall, Gary and I meet monthly at Whole Foods. Halfway between our offices, it gives us both the opportunity to keep up with errands and each other. While waiting in line to pay for my purchases, I overheard the the couple behind me was discussing their Thanksgiving menu. Before I could stop myself, I laughed out loud. I felt I had to explain to them that even though I know it’s November, I completely forgot about Thanksgiving.
I’ve also forgotten to brush my teeth a couple of nights this week, left a wet load of laundry in the washer for two days, didn’t return a friend’s phone call, and nearly forgot to call a client back. None of this is typical of my behavior. Prior to this I would have thought I was just self-absorbed. Now just feel that I’m so determined to meet my goal that I am not allowing myself to be distracted. Making time for this commitment has required some juggling.
Stepping out of the very consuming role of homemaker has been more challenging than I’d anticipated. Resistance is strong from all involved — especially me — and it’s easy to make failure a self-fulfilling prophecy by withdrawing.
But now? Now I know that I won’t stop. The momentum is too great.
Besides…. there are so many stories to tell.
What have you noticed that’s different this past week?
* NaNoWriMo-National Novel Writing Month or NaBloPoMo-National Blog Posting Month
Copyright by Donna Cerame, 2014
What it’s like inside my head this past week: