Nanowrimo Day 3 (2018) Affirmations/Motivation

A Commonplace Book, Writing Life

“I understand that I am a talented person, capable of heroic acts of creativity, and I will give myself enough time over the course of the next month to allow my innate gifts to come to the surface, unmolested by self-doubt, self-criticism, and other acts of self-bullying.”

–from The Month-Long Novelist Agreement and Statement of Understanding

“I am good enough.

I am extraordinary in fact.

I have so much to give.

I am a wealth of creative energy.

I will dive into the depths of who I am.

I will face my fears and limiting beliefs.

I will be curious and available.

I will be open to surprise.

I will let go of fears, worries and doubts.

I will practice again and again, letting that little voice that says, ‘you’re not good enough’ become less and less impacting.

I will treat myself with love, kindness and forgiveness.

I will accept who I am, rain or shine.”

–from Yoga + Creativity by Lacey Haynes

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

–from Dune by Frank Herbert, the Litany against Fear

“When I opened the door, there was a weird blue light coming off the snow. I threw the book into the snow.”

–from Schizophrene by Bhanu Kapil

Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”

–from Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

My National Novel Writing Month Backstory

NaNoWriMo, Writing Life

Shakespeare class 2005, Lynchburg, Virginia. The girl sitting in front of me was furiously scribbling into a green marbled (graph paper) composition notebook. I asked her what she was writing and she said she was writing a novel. I was totally impressed because I had tried writing a novel by hand in high school and I totally failed.

She went on to say that she was going to finish it at the end of the month because she was writing it for National Novel Writing Month. I had never heard of that before. I wanted in. She said it wasn’t too late for me to start.

Why I can’t write Part 2

Writing Life

So I just had an epiphany.

I was writing an email to a friend, I like to let her know what I’m working on even though sometimes I feel quite intrusive because she’s made of awesome and does all the awesome things (more on confidence and conversations with other creatives later). I wrote sometimes I get discouraged or find things hard because a project feels too big for me to handle. And then I thought about that.

Havoc’s Moon, my work in progress, feels too big for me to handle.

In a way, that’s kinda cool. I feel like I just got a positive diagnosis or something because I’ve identified something I can work with.

I’m not going to shorten my book. One of the things that made writing Past Life, my sci-fi novella, fun was its smallness. So I just need to figure out how to translate that into a longer thing.

I’ve got way more characters in The Slaughter Chronicles and many plot lines. Whenever I think about my story I feel like I’m looking at a huge world map, my scope is so wide I can’t see any of the topography clearly.

So now I’m going to work on zooming in.

Why can’t I write?

Writing Life

Writing as a person who has a “day job.” I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m not a business person. I can’t afford to just write and make money off of my writing. I have zero expectations that writing will make me financially stable. But writing isn’t a hobby for me, writing keeps me alive. Writing gives me the strength to go outside my apartment and exist as a human being in a society filled with other human beings. Sometimes being human is scary.

But I’ve found, more harshly than previous bouts of writer’s block, in the last few months I haven’t been able to write. I haven’t found myself capable of putting the ideas forming in my brain onto the page. I have several works in progress and several ideas for how to make them awesome but when I turn on my iPad to write I can’t make the words happen.

So what do I do?

Physical(ity)ly

Poetry, Writing Life

Now I only write numbers.

05 line the 26 day line 2018

My initials are not letters but curves in the road, a roundabout, a punctuated swirl.

I never write my initials the same way twice

But the lab techs and quality know every time it’s me because they

Analyze beautifully

I don’t know what they write I do know

I don’t write words anymore, only numbers

And lines

10 line 04 line 2017 JH

And so on

And so on

With ballpoint pen

I used to hate writing with ballpoints but you can get used to anything if you do it long enough curls in the road like a ribbon, a strand of hair, a stray thought that begins where you are and takes you where you want to be with who you want to be with but if you lose focus you have to error correct and then there are more numbers and more lines

The physical physicality of writing

When you try to talk to your spouse about writing

Writing Life

Me: Can I ask you a question?

Mr. J: …Yeah…

Me: Do you like my writing?

Mr. J: Sure.

Me: You sure?

Mr. J: Yeah.

Me: You promise.

Mr. J: I’m a little confused by your formatting.

Me: (here we go) Explain.

Mr. J: You know when you have really long lines. And then a short line. And then another short line. And then a really long line?

Me: (laughs)

Mr. J: (laughs)

Me: (zero composure) You mean my paragraphs?

Mr. J: No (defensive)…unless that’s what they are…

Me: (falls over)