(NaBloPoMo) #1: What you like best

graffiti that reads 'If not now, when?'It’s National Blog Posting Month over at BlogHer — since I’m already in the middle of a novel and don’t want to start another one right now, I’m going to take on this daily challenge instead. The folks at BlogHer are suggesting topics for each day’s blog, so I’m going to start out with those.

(I love how November has become the month for writing your heart out: Besides NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, there’s WNFIN and I know a few folks who are taking on 30-poems-in-30-days challenges this month as well. How are you marking this month of writing like mad?)

Edit: Dorothy commented to let me know that it’s also National Playwriting Month. Thanks, Dorothy, for passing the word!

It’s evening here where I am, maybe where you are, too. I don’t often write at night, but I’m in a space right now where the words are coming best when it’s dark outside, whether at 4:30 am or 8:30 pm, so I’m going with that pull and energy. The puppy is calm for the moment, though she is waiting for her blue racketball to jump up and bounce for her so she can keep attacking it; for the moment, the ball seems to have lost its vitality. Outside, it’s gone quiet, and so even though things inside me aren’t especially peaceful at the moment, the lack of other distractions helps bring me back here to the desk for a little more writing time today.

Here we go — the first prompt for this year’s NaBloPoMo is this: What’s your favorite part about writing?

My answer (I bet you can guess my answer) is this part right here, the part you can’t see, the part where my fingers are moving hard against keys or the pen drives fast and furious across the page, the part where it seems that my fingers, the movements of these hands, contain or manifest a direct link to my thoughts, where it seems clear that my thoughts weren’t exactly my thoughts, not clearly my thoughts, until my hand/s started moving and I could see them splayed out. I like this act of creation, the generative part, the part that is  the sense that these words were waiting for me to reveal them, no, waiting for me so that they could reveal themselves. This is just starting to happen with the keyboard — I’ve been having that experience for years with handwriting, though, a mystical experience now and again when I’m deep into whatever it is that I’m writing and suddenly I become aware that the pen is simple releasing the words that were already in the page; I can almost see the tip of the pen drawing the words forth from what was blue-lined whitespace just an instant before. Kind of amazing moments, those, and they don’t fare well under scrutiny — when the watcher part of me tries to observe the experience from too far a distance, the mysticism fades. Here’s why, I think: part of that experience, that sense of my just being a vehicle for the vehicle for the words’ release, has to do with interconnectedness — in that moment, all (or at least most of) those fragments I usually live within (you know those fragments: the part that’s worried about money, the part that has to watch everything and tell me how I’m doing, the part that hopes  look good, the part that knows I’m a genius, the part that knows I’m a fool and a failure, the part that thinks I should just be eating something and watching a movie, and the other parts that are somewhat scarier or sadder and more difficult to describe) have quieted or interwoven themselves or hung themselves just barely together, lightly (like a vase that was broken into many pieces that can be fitted back together again but not touched or looked at too hard or breathed in the vicinity of, lest everything crumble again), and we’re all working toward one purpose, and that’s this whatever it is that we’re writing.

That moment. That’s the one that I like the best. That moment when I know I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, maybe even exactly what I was meant to be doing. The part where I feel entirely the same as the eight year-old girl who also loved to watch the pen move across the page, and never knew for sure whether she was making the words appear, or if the words were already trapped in the paper, and she just happened to be in the right place at the right time. That moment when I feel her still smiling in me, and I know we’re still together.

What about you? What’s your favorite part of writing? Want to give that 10 minutes tonight, before bed? Grab your journal and let whatever comes, come.

(You still have time to sign up for the NaBloPoMo, if you’d like — you can share your month of blogging, too!)

Thank you for knowing what you love, for attending to that love, for giving your art and your creativity time and space in your life. Thank you for your words, always for your words.

7 responses to “(NaBloPoMo) #1: What you like best

  1. Renee, I love learning about those sprints! I didn’t know about them back when I tried nanowrimo a couple years ago– thanks to you, too, for your persistence, your good writing, your regular practice and dedication. Always inspiring for me as well.

  2. Thanks, babe! Thanks, too, for holding so much safe and good space for growth and change. I hope I’ve been able to offer you the same…

  3. Pingback: (NaBloPoMo) #2: What you’d eat (& strike!) « writing ourselves whole

  4. Thanks for this, Dorothy — I didn’t know about NaPlWriMo! I’ll add it to the list up there.


  5. More inspiration! I was thinking how amazingly well the nano word sprints work for me- where someone I don’t even know says (via twitter) okay write for 20 minutes, or ten minutes, or five and five and five and by the way add a character named Tim or a dragon or someone who speaks in rhyme… and I realized it’s from years of practice at the ready set go writing with you.

    So Thanks. For teaching me how to write fast and all the way through till the time is up. It set me free and still does. :) <3

  6. Don’t forget Naplwrimo!


  7. Butchbrownbear

    8 years ago when I fell for you, you were very head strong about only writing in the morning under very strict conditions, definitely alone and definitely with coffee. Then one morning, late one morning, you wrote there with me. I’ve always been grateful for that.

    It’s such a beautiful thing to watch you not just hold, but follow your writing, letting it comes when it needs. Your commitment to writing is so very inspiring.