Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaNo Traveling Tips

For the past few months (or year) my life has felt a lot like this picture. Sitting at a red light, waiting to cross from Hope to something more tangible. Fuel in the tank, the road clear ahead, but unable to get there because of a traffic signal.

That’s the frustrating thing about red lights. Why we dislike them. Why some of us would rather run them and risk an accident than have to sit and wait for the light to change. Change is fickle. It comes uninvited, when we’re least prepared to host it—yet we hate waiting for it to arrive.

All this time, my thoughts were filled with where I planned to be. Peace is hard to come by when all you hear is a voice whispering that you’re late. You should have been at this point by now. You would have been if you’d done this or not done that.

What does this have to do with NaNoWriMo? Everything. You see, NaNoWriMo focuses on the notion that 1667 (or 1666.66666666... to be exact) words a day for 30 days can produce a manuscript. It is when those of us who say I could do that, put it to the test. For a month, we all become novelists. Alchemists turning ideas into stories. Kings and Queens of Inspiration.

Why not? November, my friends, is a time for grand gestures. A month when the Great War ended. When it seems possible for our little wars against lack of motivation, fear, doubt, and excuses to end, too. In November, through our grand gestures, we can create peace. We can stop focusing on the red light, and instead see that this is a one way street. The only way to change direction is to turn off. Give up. Take ourselves out of the game.

Sure, there are more lights ahead. But they’re ahead. We’re here. Now. This moment.

People always say I’m having a moment like it’s a bad thing. Really, it’s not. I hope you all have moments this month where you find yourself smiling for no reason other than you love what you’re doing. Moments of brilliance, clarity and accomplishment. Moments when time ceases to exist and the “magic” happens.

I hope you have those every month.

Even if you never arrive at 50,000 words, you’ll still learn how make time for the words you do write. You may even come to realize where you are is more important than where you’ve been or where you’re going.

Enjoy the ride. Keep your eyes open. As our Ethanael is fond of saying: There is no getting lost. There are only unscheduled side trips.



Heather Dearly said...


Rinda Elliott said...

Think you and I are angsting at the same light. ;)

Chandra Rooney said...

Heather: Thanks!

Rinda: Not the same light, but definitely a similar one. :)