Utopia

Hi, friends!  Thanks for your supportive comments about the end of my Lucinda-substituting and the beginning of my possibly foolhardy involvement in NaNoWriMo.  Let me be clear that I do expect to be getting more sleep (this weekend has been a good start), and I anticipate a healthier balance all around.  So far, actually, I’m quite happy with the decision to do NaNo.  Here’s why:

  1. I’m writing between 75-120 minutes a day.
  2. I’m writing just for myself.  I have no plans to show it to anyone
  3. I’m writing to understand something I don’t totally understand.  It’s a novel about relationships, and I’m interested in relationships, but there’s much I don’t understand about them.  I have done pretty much all of my good writing in order to explore things I don’t understand, so this feels very comfortable to me.
  4. I’m hardly self-censoring at all.  I’m barely self-editing, in fact; I’ll write something, think “Wow, that came out kind of dumb,” and then just keep plowing along.  One of the things about being a poet is that every little decision matters so much to the finished poem.  I really do perseverate about putting a comma in and taking a comma out.  I love doing that, but I am not good at just opening the gate and letting everything out.  I have to give myself explicit permission to do that.  And when I do, I find that I can do this:
  5. I’m writing my way to some scenes that I’m absolutely fascinated by.  I’ve written some things that I think are true, but I’ve never said or thought or written them before.  I’m being reminded that you really don’t know what you think until you try to express it.  And if I’m not happy with how I’ve expressed it, see #2.
  6. I am doing some silly stuff that, if I were thinking about publishing this, I would have to keep myself from doing.  Rock-music epigraphs for the chapters, for example–what a pain it would be to get the permissions!  And I’m also describing my main character’s dreams, and am completely fascinated making up her dreams–but I can do this without imagining what some future reviewer would say about how boring it is to hear about other people’s dreams, let alone a fictional character’s!  But again, see #2.  As long as I’m interested, who cares!
  7. So far, this project is really only sucking up time that I would have spent screwing around, anyway.  And, unlike grading and planning, I seem perfectly happy to work on it in smallish increments of fifteen minutes and then another fifteen minutes, so it works well as something to do before school, or after school while waiting for the Snork Maiden to get out of rehearsal, or after dinner (as I’ve mentioned, I am close to useless for regular work in the evenings, but I can, apparently, write mediocre prose for my own enjoyment).  We’ll see if I can maintain it during the regular school week that lies ahead.

So, what else is going on?  I need to do some general tidying and laundry this evening.  Tomorrow:  three classes, some free periods for planning and revising a test and starting to set up observations (which I should begin toward the end of the week).  A meeting after school–one of those committees that I now have to attend–and then taking the Snork Maiden to her sax lesson.  Just the usual stuff, as long as there are no emergencies…

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One response to this post.

  1. […] let’s review.  I said (here and here)  that what I wanted […]

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