NaNoWriMo ~ Complete!
Hello My Beautiful You Friends,
The challenge of NaNoWriMo was made (write 50,000 words in 30 days) and has now been accomplished ~ I had the statement has now been defeated, but changed it. NaNoWriMo was not my opponent, but my accomplice. Every step was met with joy and grace and ease and a kind of wonder, what will the characters do today?
Generally, I am what the RWA National organization of authors likes to call a panster ~ I write by the seat of my pants. I love stream of consciousness writing, the freedom of it, the magic. But there are aspects of me that also likes to have, if not a full outlined road map, at least some significant stopping points along the way. I like to get into my characters’ heads, find out what motivates them, before I start writing. This aspect of my writing would be more in line with the plotter ~ someone who writes a very complete outline of the story, chapter by chapter, with character goals, motivations, and conflicts delineated and the setting all figured out. I have sat down and painstakingly written that outline, described my characters down to their facial hair. And guess what happens, every time? Once I start writing, what I had in mind gets tossed out the window like so much fluff and the characters and story take over and what I had planned really has no bearing whatsoever on the story at all.
The point of this? I was not only comfortable with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo, but had decided to sign up well before the November 1st deadline. I had plenty of time to plan and plot to my heart’s content. Instead, every time I thought about what I wanted to write, there was no clear path. I’ve been dabbling in writing non-fiction, have quite a few ideas in fact for some serious self-empowerment works and thought I might use this challenge to actually complete at least one of these works. Fantasy, with a huge dash of Romance, is my first love. I have sooo many characters that live with me in the periphery, perhaps it was time to tell one of their stories….
Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to write. Then, the morning of, I dreamt of Sheppard and of her battling Wraiths and the Undead and rescuing children and reaping lost souls in an apocalyptic world, and once she had me, she wouldn’t let me go.
For thirty days I sat at my computer and stepped aside while she told her story. There were times while writing I had to nix my ‘author intrusion’ in its tracks. Where my own judgment wanted to censor the story ~ that what I had just written was too raw or too profane or too sexy (aha, now I’ve got you hooked, and you want to read it don’t ya? ~ LOL,) and I had to forcibly stop myself from deleting the sentence or scene and honor the story Sheppard was here to tell.
The cool part, when I do this, when I step aside? Spirit steps in. I am just the vessel, the body that taps the keys, which create the words, which spell out the story that needs to unfold. And this process, NaNoWriMo, was certainly an unfolding. Every day I sat my butt in this chair and every day Spirit surprised me, delighted me, moved me.
What if we did the same for ourselves? Where sitting in the chair is showing up. Where nixing author intrusion is letting go of judgment. And where stepping aside is allowing Spirit to guide us so our own story can unfold moment by moment, day by day. This takes a tremendous amount of trust, of faith in the truth (at least my truth) that the Universe has your back and wants only the best for you. It also takes a commitment from you to do right by you, every day. That means showing up, even when it’s not convenient. It also means turning off the computer and the story, and living your own life to the fullest day, by day, by day.
On a professional level the process of NaNoWriMo showed me that I could complete a novel in thirty days, granted it’s a very rough zero draft, but the story is all there in all its guts and glory and hilarious and ridiculous usage of idioms and profanity, and yes, sex. But there is also SO MUCH LOVE. And that’s what I’m about. It’s why I write, to remind myself, to remind others that LOVE is really all there is, we just have to believe in it, even when it’s difficult, even when we feel Love has abandoned us completely and left us a ruined mess, destroyed by despair, or anger, or hatred. Love will set you free by showing you a way out, whether it’s through the mess, around it, over it, or under it.
NaNoWriMo also reminded me about perseverance and the will to continue, and that even an hour a day can produce a phenomenal amount of words on the page. An hour a day… to take for myself to make my dream more of a reality ~ key by key, word by word, page by page. An hour a day to write, which for me, IS my spiritual practice. It’s my way of stepping aside and allowing Spirit in. It grounds me, it centers me, if fills me with joy. It reminds me again and again and again who I am. I am Spirit ~ love, light, truth. And I am human. Oh, so very human. And oh, so very Spirit. Two halves of the same coin.
So, My Beauties, what can you do for an hour a day to take care of yourself, to make your dream more of a reality? Think about it, and then take the NaNoWriMo challenge and try it for 30 days. Show up, let go of judgment, and allow Spirit to guide you. You might be very surprised by the results. Or like me, you might bask in them.
52,151 words later, Sheppard’s story is complete ~ at least this chapter.
Mine has only gotten started. What about yours?
Love and Light, Grace and Ease.