Persistence Indeed

I have always had trouble staying the course with my writing. It is a bit of a love/hate relationship I have with my pen - on the one hand it is part of me, and I am compelled by something bigger than myself to tell stories. On the other hand, it is had for me to focus so intently, difficult for me to get past the daily distractions and stick to a vision. I'm not sure how to describe it, except to say that it is like exposing pieces of myself, pieces I normally keep hidden. They call to me, my characters and stories, and insist on their freedom, but it is hard to let them go.

I have spent years cultivating excuses for not sitting down and writing. I am very good at it. I'll never be free, though, to be the writer I've always wanted if I continue to live from one procrastination exercise to another, spending my days telling those little voices to hush already.

NaNoWriMo has been very good for me. I'm sitting down to write and finding that the words do come. There is more to me than short stories. I am 5000 words in now, and am finding that I have a voice, and something to say. The story is coming together magically in my head- as I write, the story plays out on a little ribbon-movie in my head. It is wonderful. It is enlightening. It is what makes me happy.

Part of the credit also goes to a book I am reading, by Julia Cameron, called The Right to Write. She systematically dismantles all those arguments you make to yourself about why you don't have the time or the skill to be a writer. I have been so focused this year on selling a story that I forgot about the sheer joy that the act should give to me. I let myself get so caught up in the editing, rewriting, fear of rejection, and procrastinating that I lost my focus. This book helped me find it again, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has that "Great American Novel" inside somewhere waiting to see the light of day.

09 November 2007

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