Day: November 18, 2015

Mining and Other Analogies. NaNoWriMo Day 18

Words Today: 2282

Total Words: 42,196


I am using NaNoWriMo as a way to draft essays, short stories, and gingerly “dash off” whispers of ideas…a description, an exchange of dialog, a poem, a thought. It is these dribs and drabs I hope to craft into the novel that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be about. (The “No” stands for novel, after all.)

I feel like I’m cheating, in some ways, as my 1667 daily words can be more wild and free form than a novelist’s. I can and do have five or six essays or stories going at one time and my words can be divvied up among them, whereas the true NaNoWriMo warriors are building a story word by word. They have a purpose and a destination. I, on the other hand, wander around in a lexical forest. It’s lovely and woodsy, and I’m having a wonderful time admiring the moss and the occasional fairy I encounter, but I slay no dragons this way. I feel ever the impostor, but the words flow and I know I am readying myself for future quests.

There are days, though, in this journey, that I encounter the entrance to a mine. I don’t like these mines. They are dark places I am compelled to enter, that is the job writers are tasked with. I try to avoid going in, sometimes by distracting myself with laundry and other tasks, (where tasks equal snacking). But I enter. There a slabs of rocks and minerals in these word mines, and I know if I chip away, I will get to the shiny veins of precious gems, gleaming in their simplicity and truth. But it’s work to get at them, and it’s dirty, and it’s painful sometimes. It’s easy to slip and fall into a pattern of journaling or self-pitying on paper.

Today I chipped away. I’ll stop for now, and read for long stretches, to shake my mind, clearing it like an Etch-a-Sketch.

And I’ll return tomorrow to those mines, and continue returning until they are fulled harvested…or until my metaphors no longer mix.