On the Fourth Day of Na-Not

Improving isn’t only about fixing our weaknesses. It’s also about learning to play to our strengths.

–Bryn Donovan

Catchy title mostly because I needed something to put in the space for a title, and picture (uncropped, because I forgot) of lovely birthday loot from the lovely E. Catherine Tobler, because it is pertinent to my interests. Notebooks, pens and sticky notes are always good gifts. I haven’t put anything in the notebook yet, because I’m still in the stroking the paper stage and figuring out what wants to be on those pages.

This is going to be one of those blabbery entries, because it’s only my list, and time is ticking. I have Critique Partner Vicki’s chapter to crit, a chapter from Collaborator Melva to read and then we figure out where the next scene goes. Then there’s Ravenwood to polish, which is cooperating rather well, if I do say so myself. All of this can let Her Last First Kiss simmer on the back burner and sort out a few things without breaking my brain.

That’s one of the things I like best about working on multiple projects. There’s an energy I find in switching gears. When I was a kid, my mother would tell me that  the more I did, the more I’d want to do. I hated when she would say that, but now, I have to admit she’s right. The more I do, the more I want to do, especially with writing. I like that. When I would force myself to try and follow the NaNo method, I hated writing. The word count goal loomed over me, and I couldn’t see the story.

I’d thought that not doing NaNo meant cutting me off from the support system that I liked about the whole thing. While attending my first NaNo event a couple years back was a fun way to meet other local writers, I have a fabulous local RWA chapter. Not only other writers, but other writers in my chosen genre. Not only for one month out of the year, but all year round. Not only that, but writer friends I’ve known long enough that our friendships could vote, get married, and join the military without parental consent. Not necessarily in that order.

I am a talker. Those who have known me for more than about five minutes know that, and when talk turns to stories, the reading, writing, viewing and analysis thereof, well, the more I do, the more I want to do there, as well. So, November, when there is writing talk seemingly everywhere, is a good month. A really good month. For someone whose brain normally sounds very much like “storystorystorystorystorystorystory” this really is the best time of year, participation in a program or not. That’s been an interesting lesson to learn. Not sure what Mom would have made of that, but still important to keep in mind. Blogging is kind of talking, blabbering through my fingers onto the keys that are rapidly losing their letters. My E and N keys are wearing way, and it may soon be time to take out the Sharpies and reinforce the markings. Or stickers. Or not bother because I know where the keys are, and, apart from the missing H key on the old laptop, they aren’t going anywhere.

Anyway. Talking. That’s part of what I do, part of the process. For many extroverts, talking and thinking happen at the same time, and I’ve found that to be true in a lot of my experiences. There is an infamous fifty page letter in my storied (pun intended) past. I am not entirely sure, now that I’ve accepted my love for snail mail as part of my natural order, that it will always hold the title for longest non-manuscript document I have ever sent. I have no regrets. I love that I’m  excited about writing, my own and those of others. I’m excited to sit at the keyboard, steal away moments to scrawl in various notebooks in a rainbow of colors, let it be crazy and messy and off the leash. There’s plenty of time to smooth it all out later. For now, letting the story spill out is all that matters, because nothing else can be done before that.

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