When we set up this Novel Writing Month as a feeble, yet personal copy of NaNoWriMo, I expected to have one hell of a struggle. I like the idea of this, because it's a way to push writers to write. What better way for the weakest among us to get pushed to be productive than to gather a gaggle of writers to push? Is that a gaggle or a giggle? *shrug*
But I did not expect to be productive. And I have the excuses all ready, too! You betcha! 'Cause the excuses for not writing are so damned easy.
"Well, the power went off, and my computer is dead." *shrug*
"Ahhh, well, every pen I own is dry! Really! Nothing but torn paper when I try to use 'em" *shrug*
"I caught the most awful virus, and I can't write. I just keep vomiting on the keyboard." *shrug*
"My grandmother/father died. So sad." *shrug*
Get the picture? Yeah, I know, it's a grand waste of imagination, isn't it? But then, it never does take much imagination to come up with an excuse. And that's just sad. Even at your darkest moments, there's nothing keeping you from pulling pad and pencil from a pocket. Nothing keeping you from writing.
Good golly, look at all the emotions you could be describing - from the inside! The reactions around you, the physical feelings and accompanying descriptions. *sigh* And you could waste all that for actual problems, that keep you from sitting quietly at your computer, and typing.
Yeah, as if logic keeps any of us from acting stupid.
Well, as I say, I was ready to slap a few excuses down. But a funny thing happened after the start. I got interested in this. I wanted to write for this. I wanted to make the 50,000 words. I wanted to be successful!
And then the river started up. You writers know what I mean. The words start as a trickle, and they come to you faster and faster. Soon enough they are a torrent, a flood! They actually come faster than you can write them down. Type them. They are a river in flood. And you get swept along. Happily, I might add.
Is this how a painter feels? Do the brush strokes come to mind like that, the image of the finished work filling the mind before the painter can even mix his pigments? The Composer? Does she find the notes flowing through her mind at a pace she cannot catch? Do the sounds of the music fill her head in such a profusion that she can scarce write them down?
Does the Actor suddenly attain that special insight into his character that he worked for weeks to accomplish? Does it come to him in a wave?
Wish I knew. But I don't. I only can describe what happens to the Writer who suddenly breaks through those nasty walls, sees the Promised Land beyond, and flies through, wings beating, chest swelling with happiness ..... *sigh*
Today, aside from this post, I managed to write, in three sessions, some four thousand words of prose. All parts of a Science Fiction novel I am working on. All flowing from a few thoughts, thoughts I sparked by re-reading a paragraph in a file I saved long ago.
Four thousand words! Hey! That's a lot! A bundle of consonants, and a herd of vowels! And the sad thing is it's been years since I had this feeling of ...Wordiness'. The feeling that all I need do is start typing, and the words will eb there at the end of my fingers.
That's what went on with 'Benning's War' so many years ago. The time came when the story flowed from me, with little conscious thought on my part. Okay, I know that sounds weird to some, and a tad scary to others. But it's not. Not really. It's an experience I know other writers have. Some not very often; some often enough to be almost boring. Almost! But not quite. Why? Because when it isn't there, when the words are not flowing from your fingertips, you become the most frustrated human on Earth.
Constipation of the writer is horrifying. You have this need to write, to tell stories, to relate epic adventures, to lay out poetic imaginings. When the mind shuts down the words, cuts the flow, you can almost feel the block. And it's frustrating. So we rejoice when we have the flow going for us.
And when the flow of words is with us, we dare not stay the flood for long. To refuse to type, or scribble, chances the end of the flood. It is almost like deliberately walking under a ladder. Almost as silly as spilling salt, and not tossing a pinch over your shoulder. Only a fool would risk missing the flood of words, the flow of the river.
Because we never know when it's coming again, do we? It may never return for us. So the smarter among us writers catches the flow, dives right in, and rides the river of words as far as they'll take us!
Funny how that happens, huh?