NaNoWriMo · The Writing Life

A “rubber ball” writer am I

So a friend and I were talking over our NaNoWriMo results. You know, the “something is better than nothing” evaluation. Oh, sigh.

Am I a fair-weather writer? I write often, but I become easily overwhelmed. I seem to do my best work in focused gusts.

My creative brain has a limited attention span? Dang. I’m no better than my middle and high school students. Except that I don’t bother with excuses anymore.

It’s like I’m a rubber ball writer. Into the sky I soar, overcoming every setback–elastic, rebounding, free! And then whoosh, I lose momentum, go flat, and hit the floor with a thump. And then I roll somewhere.

Like a Rubber Ball I bounce back Photo Credit: shira gal (Creative Commons)
Bouncing high into the sky and then … rolling under the sofa!
Photo Credit: shira gal (Creative Commons)

Funny thing, though. Soon I’m back to bouncing again. After I brush off the gunk I collected under the sofa.

I cranked out 27,000 NaNo words (may they be useful!) before November took me out. Not too shabby. Chapter by chapter, Darcy By Any Other Name grows. Chapter 30 will mark the end. I am on Chapter 27.

I would so like to be The Little Engine That Could. You know, someone who keeps chugging along, day in and day out, consistent and relentless. Instead I’m the rubber ball that keeps bouncing.

Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping.
The latter happens all the time. Quitting happens once.
Quitting means not starting again–and art is all about
starting again.

~~ David Bales and Ted Orland, Art and Fear

8 thoughts on “A “rubber ball” writer am I

  1. This is a really clever way to describe your writing habits. I think there is something incredibly romantic about being that ball that soars and has huge inspirational bursts (as long as they continue to pop up!)! Good luck finishing your novel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look forward to my new book too! Meaning how I will end it is still up in the air. 🙂

      This sounds like excuse-making, but when I first discovered NaNo (in, I think, 2002 or 03), it was a lark for geeks. “Let’s write laughingly awful prose together,” was the slogan. The goal was to see if we could crank out 50,000 words. Not 50,000 usable words, or even good words. Wacky worked, and so did silly.

      These days published novelists use NaNo, and the pressure’s on. When I discovered that I was pushing myself for word count only, leaving in material that I knew I would cut out later, I lost steam.

      On Saturday, for example, I spent twelve hours editing a single chapter (I am a rewriter, alas). I threw out a lot of NaNo filler!

      Camp NaNo is better for me, because I set my own wordcount goals. And it’s July, not November. No teaching, no conferences, no nothing. Sounds glorious.

      Like

  2. I think you should call yourself a “hurricane writer” or a “typhoon writer.” Maybe a “tornado writer” would be good. Those gusts of wind really captured my imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin, you’ve had me smiling since you posted this. Hurricane, typhoon, tornado … this is how it feels. Wild and risky, riding the waves. Up to the crest (where all is glorious and the view is clear) and then down into the cavern-like trough (towering waves blocking my vision and scaring me half to death)

      Like

  3. What a great analogy. Sadly I’m lost under a sofa in an un-used house in a giant forest in the middle of nowhere at the moment. But I too shall start over. Every day us an opportunity to start over. Great post. Really enjoyed it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starting over is what it’s all about, Angela. Even under the sofa there are ideas to harvest, right? I smilingly recite the theme from the movie Galaxy Quest: “Never give up, never surrender.”

      Word by word articles and books get written.

      Like

Would you like to leave a comment?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s