I can’t stop watching this
Things NaNoWriMo Taught Me
- I enjoy meticulously obsessing over the wording of each sentence and phrase.
- How to write a great quantity of words each day.
- That when I write in a hurry, I lose track of my plot.
- How much fun it is to get wrapped up in a story and characters of your own creation.
- The types of background noise that is acceptable. I particularly enjoy foreign background music, like this, this,and this; and of course, the elusive sound of silence.
- Research is half the battle.
- Procrastination isn’t as terrible as it is made out to be.
- I can do amazing things with an hour to myself in the middle of the day.
- Anne Lamott doesn’t know everything, and though it pains me to admit it, Ian McEwan isn’t perfect either. A writer is as good as his flaws.
- I think faster than I can type.
- Longhand is a great tool too.
- I enjoy non-fiction writing as much as fiction.
- The bed is a fine place to peck out some words, but a proper desk and chair, and preferably one without a cushion, is the best place for me to focus for long periods of time. Add a cup of coffee or tea and I could sit for hours.
- Getting outside to be among the trees is important for letting creativity loose. So is proper sleep, though a certain amount of fatigue elicits a certain amount of honesty.
I once could recite this by heart. Now it is just the last 2 stanzas I can recall. I’m re-learning it, and I’ll perform it for my husband and son on Christmas.
La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad
By John Keats
Source: Selected Poems (Penguin Classics, 1988)
I did it! Just wanted to share my achievement here. 50,949 totally original, unusual, & mostly incoherent words. I really had to stretch it out towards the end, the last 4,500 words are essentially stream-of-consciousness. Maybe I was channeling my literary heroine, Virginia Woolf (maybe we’re related.)
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, copyright ® 1973 by Wendell Berry,