Living each day much muchier
I’ve learned a lot, doing NaNoWriMo. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a blunt challenge for novelists. Write 50,000 words in the month of November and voila, there’s the foundation of your next book.
Writer’s write. That’s the simple and undeniable law of being a writer instead of a dreamer. A true writer grits through the difficulty and finds writing a rewarding form of torture. A writer can’t help but write, regardless of the challenge or rejections. A true writer feels compelled to write one word after the other until their story is born.
I’ve been a dreamer for a long time. I’ve got a purpose-crush on the novelist and this image of a gorgeous, light filled room of floor to ceiling books, with a wooden and leather desk in the centre and French doors that open on to a garden. It delights and scares the shit out of me. I’ve had a novel singing to me for twenty years that I’ve been too terrified to write and to fail. I never have to give up on my light filled writing room if it can live, forever preserved in the pinterest-land of my brain I never have to find out that I’m a terrible novelist if I never try.
Writing a novel is hard, but what’s also hard is to balance all the things in my life that I want to do. All the forums and ‘how to write books’ say that I have to prioritise. After all, writers write, end of story.
I’m starting to think that’s a purist, starry-eyed idea. It’s a romance of sole pursuit, the tormented artist, the monogamous hobbyist. Maybe other people find the only love of their life is words, or music, or fitness and spend their days in blissful marriage to their muse but I’m torn between many loves and I suspect I’m not alone.
While on retreat this past weekend, I went for a walk through Tooronga Falls and as I trekked the muddy path, surrounded by beautiful temperate rainforest and that warm earthy smell of mingled soil and leaves and water, I thought no this, THIS is what I love. Maybe I’m a hiker, not a writer. I always find time to do this.
Whenever I go out dancing and someone is spinning me around to a joyful salsa beat or flowing to dramatic zouk score, I think no this, THIS is what I love. How do I keep forgetting that I’m a dancer?
At work, I connect ideas in ways that other people sort of see but find it hard to crystallise or communicate. Whenever I have that sort of task, I love my job. I’m all over it like flies on poop. I think to myself, this is what I love. I’m a creative strategist and at least I get paid for it!
Too many loves and not enough Laura.
I think it’s time to own the fact that I am not a monogamist hobbyist. I’m a polyamorous hobbyist and that’s okay. I can love more than one thing. I don’t have to be one, neat identity, as alluring as that is.
I will write that novel. I’m most of the way there. I can even see the finish line, but it’s okay to do other things in the meantime. Maybe I won’t be the novelist in the light-filled writing room but I’m excited for a future world that has my novel in it, and photographs and strategies and a dance card and hey, maybe I’ll even take up theatre again 😉
There is never enough time to enjoy what you love.
You should never, ever be afraid of failure.
My dad always used to tell me that no matter what you do, always make every post a winner – and if things happen to not work out, then you can never say that you didn’t try.
Not trying is the biggest failure that I think someone can have and if you write, you write for Laura – not for me – not for anyone else. If someone else happens to like it, then that’s a bonus. If 100,000 people like it and you get to retire, that’s even better 🙂
Never forget that the people who are perfect and never fail at anything are the people who are never trying anything new or pushing their own boundaries.
I forgot to add that something I will have to do one day is build the study and personal library that has the ladder on the roller to go around the room.
That will be for Jan’s books…. My books are either reference books or texts – or comics (and they’re all put away in a converted software storage cabinet).