Thoughts from the little writer that could…
“If I could be anything, I would be a writer.” If I have said that once I have said it a thousand times. Actually, if I wrote every time I uttered those words the best seller list would be full of my handiwork. You would all be saying, “I knew her when”, yet instead I struggle over and over to get the words from my head to the written page. But as another November creeps into our world, I am reminded that there is no better time to introduce new formations into the playbook.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The object is that participants must write an average of approximately 1,667 words per day in November to reach the goal of 50,000 words written toward a novel. The writer in me longs for that daily word count. Searching for a hobby, maybe this is a good place to start. Regardless, I figure what do I have to loose. My ambition is the word count, not so much a novel. This gives me the freedom to change topics, story lines, and trains of thought on a daily basis.
a little bit about a lot of things generally focuses on my thoughts, perceptions or people or places experienced. There has been little evidence of fiction (or my life in a story). As I embark on this pilgrimage, I am going to set some boundaries, rules and general boosters to aid in my process.
1 – There is no limit on the subject matter to write about. Trying my damnedest to truly write fiction/ stories is my goal. So my narratives may have some truth, the timelines might be skewed, there could be make believe or tales borrowed from others. Seriously, shouldn’t a great yarn encompass all these traits? However, if a crazy thought or a great trip happens to make the page, then so be it.
2 – Daily count of written word isn’t as important as accumulation of the total. (refer https://alittlebitaboutalotofthings.com/2019/01/05/math-doesnt-lie-the-key-to-accomplishing-your-annual-aspirations/)
3 – Using my twenty minute exercise will be key in the discovering success and getting my mind in the practice. (refer https://alittlebitaboutalotofthings.com/2016/03/27/twenty-minute-sundays-me/)
4 – Not all my written work will land on the blog, but I will share a weekly progress report and spotlight great writing or snip its.
5 – Finally, I need your help. It is hard to write. It takes work. When post is shared with the world, the feedback, “likes”, and acknowledgement go a long way for encouraging the next chapter or at least another day of 1,667 words.
Where to start……the novel I began writing in grad school, one of my countless trips to Maui, when I turned 40 and went to France (I truly feel that story is worthy of a screen play) or just a another day at the office? The possibilities are endless. If you have every hung with me, you know there is a good chance something odd will occur if you just give time some space.
So let’s start with the time my friend Brandy and I decided to go to Maui in 2004.
It was one of those crisp October mornings, that the Central Coast of California reminds you that fall has arrived. Preparing for a full day of teaching, I was just about to head out the door when I remembered it wasn’t just any day, but the day of Brandy’s birthday. Back before Facebook told you to be on the lookout for your friends special day or before texting was a standard form of communication we had the good old fashion form of correspondence, email.
I opened my laptop, hit the “on” button and sat and waited for my hp to go through its processes. Looking out my bedroom window, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of the last year fill my soul. Just four months earlier my kids and I had moved into our home. Being a single mom, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of pride of my purchase and yet the responsibility of a one household income loomed in the back of my mind daily. “How did I get here, and where am I going?” The ding of my inbox brought me back to reality and the task at hand.
I quickly scanned the documents and noticed an entry from United , titled “Hawaii Deals Await You”. Two clicks later I was reading the message of a golden opportunity, for only 500 dollars you could book a round trip ticket and lodging to Maui. Knee deep in teaching two sections of Introduction to Agriculture Business and one of Agriculture Economics, nothing sounded more blissful. Fall quarter had been rough, dealing with over a 100 college students, add my three darlings at home, and didn’t the sandy beaches of Hawaii sound like a dream come true.
As on cue, I forwarded the email to Brandy with the simple message, “Happy Birthday, wish we were headed to Maui to celebrate your special day!”.
One of my favorite sayings to my students is, “if it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter now.” We send thousands of emails, many with one or two words. Who could have ever guessed that this simple birthday wish would impact my life for years to come. But this single act was a changing point and pivotal to the person I am today. Until this moment, this revelation never crossed my mind. Just be warned that email you delete, forward or send this morning may just change your life. And so the tale continues.
There you go, the beginning of a story and the start of my NaNoWriMo project. Even though after four days I have only completed 3,685 words and are already behind the eight ball, I couldn’t be happier. The choice to write daily is going to be deliberate, but I have zero expectations of the end product. I may or may not finish one piece, before I start another, who knows the goal is just to write. The road I am on is full of directional choices, track changes, speed limits and numerous obstacles, buckle up readers this could be a bumpy month.