What Does Tenacity, Travel and Bob Marley All Have in Common?
“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”~Vladimir Nabakov
I’m back after a five-day blog and social media hiatus, and while I did miss my online activities tremendously, I loved the break. I had plenty of time to think, organize, take notes, and hammer out the real beginning of a book, and I had the chance to discover a few things during the process. I thought I’d share a few observations, and embrace Music Monday with a song or two.
1. I initially approached NaNoWriMo in a way that wouldn’t yield favorable results. Without preparation, there is no way possible to prepare 50,000 well-written words that I’d be proud to share with others. In the last five days, I’ve been brushing up on elements of plot, character development, outlines and other normal writerly tasks that had become dusty in ye old memory archives.
The last lengthy thing I wrote was a 20-page research paper on the genetic basis of schizophrenia during my senior year at Oglethorpe University a long time ago, and even that process was nothing like fiction. “Seat of the pants” might work for some, but it doesn’t work for me at all. I need notes and an outline. Had I been a bit more tenacious with my initial efforts, I might have been a NaNoWriMo success. As it is, I’ll settle for where I am now and keep it moving.
2. As much as I dread winter, I’ve been having too much fun to notice fall is almost gone and winter is fast on it’s heels. My normal custom, immediately at the onset of cold weather, is to prepare for hibernation. Like any good grizzly bear, I generally begin packing on the pounds during the Halloween sweet-a-thon and continue my flurry of gluttonous activity until the new new year arrives, leaving a wake of fat-shamey feelings and broken dietary promises.
This year is different. Sure, I’m still enjoying all the yumminess, but I’m not preparing to hibernate in my cave until spring. I have too much I want to accomplish, and I’m almost manic in my excitement. A little winter travel to the Georgia coast is in the works, I’m looking forward to the holidays with my loved ones this year.
3. Being negligent due to online activities is annoying–for me and for others. When it gets a little boring at home, created by a mixture of cold weather and financial foibles, I tend to be sucked completely into the vortex of social media. I also read and comment on too many blogs and can easily waste an entire day checking stats and playing with WordPress. Another problem of being online too often is how quickly I will abandon housework or other tedious tasks when I’m obsessively occupied (which is often).
This inevitably leads to annoyance; I’m annoyed at myself for falling behind and knowing it’s my own damn fault, or I’ll become annoyed at others who point out the areas I’ve neglected. As if I don’t know I’ve built a monument to Sloth in dirty dishes and smelly socks? I don’t need any reminders. Please.
This song reflects my sentiment and also gives me pause to enjoy the memory of seeing Godsmack in concert at Big day Out from 99x several years ago. It also shows I’m getting older, but whatever. Yes, pun is completely intended.
4. Annoyance levels decrease when balance and order is established between the on and offline world. Over the last week, I’ve continued to neglect some tedious tasks, but I’ve done a lot of necessary de-cluttering, which is a task in itself. Because I upped the amount of snuggle time with my husband and daughter and re-connected with other loved ones via phone or face-to-face during my hiatus, they’ve been enjoying the feel-good family vibe too much to notice what I haven’t gotten done. By the same token, I’ve forgotten to be overly self-critical and neurotic.
Bob Marley-Three Little Birds
5. Two of my very most favorite things, travel and writing, are best with music. I can’t take a roadtrip or write a sentence without good music. On my happiest, most upbeat days, I default to Bob Marley. How about you?
Is music essential to your writing, or do you prefer the silence? Tell me in the comments.
If you liked this post, I invite you to read the previous one: San Antonio: The Good, The Bad, The Awesome, and The Alamo. Before you go, please subscribe to this blog.