Yesterday was the absolute perfect day for me – although many might consider it quite boring. I woke up and had a leisurely cup of coffee while reading – and commenting – on several blog postings. I (finally) finished The Swan Thieves, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but am now desperate to go to a museum and spend hours in the European Impressionists wing. I then began reading No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty and found myself totally immersed in the idea of actually writing a novel in a month. I read the book from cover to cover and then immediately placed an online order for the book so that I could add it to my own personal library. It has opened my mind to infinite possibilities!
For those who are unfamiliar with this short, insightful, and quite humorous book — Chris Baty is the founder of NaNoWriMo — or, National Novel Writing Month. Now, I must admit that the first time I saw this clever title, I thought – someone needs some help with their capitalization rules. It was quite reminiscent (at least to me) of the poetry of e e cummings. Then once I discovered its true meaning, I thought – there is no possible way that anyone could write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days (!) However, after reading this wonderful step-by-step program, I must admit that I am very excited by the possibility of actually participating in NaNoWriMo 2010.
I was first introduced to this book by J. Kaye – whom I am sure many of you know by her book review website, but perhaps are not so familiar with her newest blog, 365 Days of Novel Writing. I am totally addicted to her daily posts. She has (I think) 19 different writing projects she is currently working on – and I am sure those are in a constant state of change. I am totally in awe of her creative ability – and her willingness to share the victories and disappointments of a writer’s life.
I feel that the culmination of taking my first writing class last summer, Rewriting a Life, plus the friendship of a fellow teacher that has evolved into a corroborative effort to teach a creative writing class, plus the daily motivation from J. Kaye’s blog has created the “perfect storm” for me to try to my hand at writing fiction. Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I followed the progress of Ms. Bookish last November when she participated, and completed, the NaNoWriMo 2009 challenge. I was amazed – and mesmerized by her self-discipline and dedication to the goal. Do I have what it takes to complete this challenge myself? I don’t know, but I think I am willing to give it a try.
I lack creative ability. I commented to someone the other day that I stopped being a child at the age of 8 – and I mean that sincerely. I have forgotten how to dream – how to imagine – how to be spontaneous and fun. My entire life can be summed up as: she was independent and responsible. Now those two traits are what I have always aspired to be — but I wonder if I perhaps attained them at the sacrifice of other important character traits.
So here I am at the age of 50 once again wondering, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Do we ever arrive at a conclusive answer to that elusive question? While the practical, responsible side of me says “yes we should” — the new me, the me that I would like to become says “no — for once we have a definitive answer to that question — all other possibilities cease to exist. And what hope is there in that?”
While this entry is not exactly about reading (what Sunday Salon is supposed to embody) — it is, however, an entry about life and its wonderfully, infinite possibilities. Let’s seize the moment – reach for the sky, and remember that if we should fail – we will still be among the stars.