What Happened In November

 

cat-fink-what-gives-me-joy-nov-9-2016-books
What Gives Me Joy Nov 9 2016 (books)

It is November thirtieth.

On my studio work table is a stack of paper.  One hundred and thirteen pages.  It’s my Nanowrimo draft.

I finish writing on Monday, zipping past the 50,000 word goal by 469 words.  Hooray!  I have that magic purple bar that says WINNER shining on my Nanowrimo dashboard, and my winner certificate is taped to the studio wall.

I give myself Tuesday and Wednesday as reading days, since my reading time has been eaten by writing time all through November.  I love reading as much as writing, and I am noticing a certain inner grumpiness every time I walk past the books that are waiting for me.

Today I am thinking about the last four weeks.

Something unusual happened during my mass quantity of writing.

I enjoyed the process.  I rarely struggled.  I am amazed at this.  And I am wondering what I did differently this fourth time through Nanowrimo.

I’ve made it past the finish line all four times, so winning is not different.

Thing is, I feel like a different writer.

I am a different writer.  I am not fussing over my first draft.  I am not criticizing every word.  If I don’t have the exact right word or phrase, I pause for a bit.  If it does not come, I substitute something close to what I want and continue on.  I know I will come back later with the right fix.

This is not how I used to write.  I wrote slowly.  I struggled.  Things had to be perfect or near-perfect the first time through.  I was not taking in the meaning of ‘draft’.

What a relief this is.  I am no longer afraid of not getting my words right.

I have won something more than my Nanowrimo draft reaching 50,000 words.

I have won space for myself when I write.  I have space to explore, try something out, not like it, and change it.  I have space to get an idea down and find the right words later.  I have space to relax and breathe and enjoy the process of a first draft.  I have space to enjoy my imagination.

When I am being Artist rather than Writer, I work with the pastel in one hand and the eraser in the other.  I am constantly moving between one and the other, using the eraser as one of my drawing tools.  I have no difficulty editing my drawings.

I get it.  Here is the core of why I am a different writer.  I am finally comfortable using editing as one of my writing tools.  I am finally trusting my writing process and myself as a writer.  The words will come, if not on the first pass, then the second or third or fourth.

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In this post:

Nanowrimo  https://nanowrimo.org/