Freeing the Madwoman

This month is my second whack at Camp NaNoWriMo, which could easily be described as the lite version of National Novel Writing Month. Last April, I ended up in London and Edinburgh on a journey that very much became about not just finding myself, but also finding my story. As it would have it, the story I found was the one that had lay in waiting inside of me the longest. Piper’s story. Alteria’s story.

I’ve written several times about what I’m writing (which sounds a little odd to say) because I for one have always felt that reflection on the past helps get you caught up with the present so you can better make way for the future.

But what this month do I have to reflect on? Not much to be honest in terms of story, as most of my time has been spent revamping the campaign to get said story published on Inkshares. So much of that time in fact, that I’ve somehow managed to get so far behind that I now find myself faced with the task of writing 39,440 words in 5 days.

That’s an average of 7,888 words per day.

Someone who tweeted at me put it best:

Screen shot 2016-04-26 at 12.02.00 PM

Creativity is a funny thing, and begets a process that is full of uncertainty. You can get into a habit of creating – daily writing in the morning just after a cup of coffee with exactly one spoonful of sugar – or, you can be a complete and utter crazy person and try to write 30K+ words when running on no sleep and three red bulls. Each person does it differently. But there is one thing I’ve noticed in my own creative processes, whether they are jammed into a short amount of time, or whether I have six months.

There’s an extent of madness that needs to happen. You have to let go. You have to let Jesus take the wheel sometimes, and be the backseat driver to the story itself. Your characters, if you’ve let them truly come to life, sometimes make rash decisions and go the opposite of where you’ve instructed them, and trying to steer them back to what you think is best can be to the story’s detriment.

So for next few days, I’m handing the reigns over to the deeper, crazier parts of myself to see where the rest of this second draft goes. I didn’t foresee originally that so much rewriting would be necessary to a second go of this novel, but all of the rewrites I’ve done so far have done a great service to the narrative, so at this point, I’m running with it.

To all of you who may be pondering a similar endeavor to get the creative juices flowing, my advice would be to go with it. Run full steam ahead, flailing your fingers across the keyboard or fluttering that pen across your page. You never know what kind of magic can happen when you stop trying to be a writer for a second and just write something. 

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