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A View From The Trenches

by Silver James 2 November 2010 7 Comments

When the Universe speaks, do you listen?

A very long time ago–well at least a few years now–I stumbled across what seemed like a rather cool idea and I signed up for it. Each day Monday through Friday, I receive email “affirmations” from “The Universe”…which is really this guy/guru type out of Orlando but hey…every once in awhile, I glean a pearl of wisdom. And one should never consciously piss off the Universe, right? Right!

Well, this little gem dropped into my in-box yesterday:

Starting something, Silver, is the best way to finish something.

And just doing a teeny, tiny something, today, anything, from wherever you are, is the best way to start something.

Today, Silver. Make a call, ask a question, search the web, buy a book, pound the pavement, measure, cut, paste, poke, and of course, give thanks in advance.

-The Universe

It comes at an interesting time in my writing life, especially given the fact NaNoWriMo started yesterday. A rather apropos bit of wisdom, yes?

However, this NaNo, I’m not beginning things so much as finishing them. I have several projects that stalled out due to circumstances and on account of because. My current project is out on submission and following the age-old wisdom of writing pundits everywhere, I’m starting the next big thing—or finishing a few “big things,” as the case may be. It’s always a good idea to have something in reserve and at the moment, I don’t really have anything I could honestly say was ready, should the question arise. As I’m actively looking for an agent, this is a question I want to be able to answer with a completed manuscript and a synopsis ready to go.

So, today’s blog is short and a bit discombobulated as I contemplate the meaning of my writing life. Beginnings. Middles. Ends. As writers, we fret over the perfect opening line, the first chapter guaranteed to lure readers further into the world we have created, to entice them with our characters, with our plots and settings. We use hooks and props and twists to keep that sometimes vast wasteland in the middle from sagging. We lead the readers merrily toward the climax and the Happy Ever After—or the happy right now, or solving the crime, or just simply The End. But sometimes, getting there is an arduous journey in and of itself.
Sometimes, there’s not enough coffee or chocolate or sheer gumption to get from here to there. The occasional detour life throws our way can become a permanent dead end. But I hate dead ends. Painting myself into a corner just doesn’t sit well. So this NaNo, I’m going to listen to the Universe. I’m going to finish what I started.

Am I the only one who has occasional trouble seeing a project all the way through from start to finish? Why do some books simply flow from the imagination straight to the page while others have to be dragged kicking and screaming? And the biggest question of all, which becomes the better book, ultimately? Which might just be a blog topic for another day. To those of you joining me in the madness of NaNo, I salute you! To those of you with sense, you don’t know the fun you are missing! 😉 How’s your word count going? I had a stellar first day with just over 3,000 words though I suspect I won’t get quite as much done today.

Happy writing!

~Silver

7 Comments »

  • Lavada Dee said:

    Wow Silver good first day. This is the first year I’ve even been tempted to do NaNo. And, this month just isn’t a good month to do it for me. I kind of doubt November ever will be. I even went to web site as I didn’t know what NaNoWriMo meant and thought it had something to do with November because of the No part of the name. So dispelling that little assumption does NaNo ever run in other months?

    I love the Universe idea and what a were the chances of getting That Message on yesterday?

    Wishing you the best in this months challenge.

  • Silver James (author) said:

    Lavada, no, it doesn’t. NaNoWriMo is always in November, though they do Script Frenzy in April, which is for writing a screen play. I did that one year. It was fun and different when I needed a break in novel writing.

    Other groups or writing loops may run something similar other times of the year. I seem to remember seeing/hearing something of the sort. Or, you can just do it on your own. Yay for self-imposed deadlines, right?!? *rolls eyes*

    Sometimes the Universe and I get on the same page. When it happens, kismet. :) And thanks for the encouragement. I find I’m more distracted this year than most so I suspect there will be some late nights or frenzied writing in the days leading up to 11/30.

  • Laurie Ryan said:

    Congrats on that first day, Silver. 3,000 words is double what you need to do to get to 50,000 by month’s end. And no, you’re not the only one struggling with finishing projects. That’s exactly why I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year. I have projects (plural) I NEED to get done. :)

    Best of luck to you!

  • Silver James (author) said:

    That’s why I’m not starting anything new, Laurie! I’m going to finish some of the ones I’ve left dangling or else! And I’ve never *not* completed NaNo in the previous years I’ve “competed.” I hope my competitive streak is what will get me over the hump. Today’s count wasn’t quite as good. but I still managed almost 2K. 😀

  • Stacey Joy Netzel said:

    Great 1st day, Silver! I’m not doing it this year, but I do know what I’m missing, which is why I’m not doing it. lol I’d have gone bonkers adding NaNo to my life right now.

    The official NaNo doesn’t run in other months, but Silver is right–some writing groups do their own. I do better in a ‘competition’, so when I get ready to do it some other month, I know I’ll be looking for people to join me so I can have extra incentive.

    Good luck to all who are participating this month! Get writing!

  • Jeannie Ruesch said:

    Hmm…so when all the craziness goes away, Stacey, what do you all say to having our own little impromptu “contest”? Mind you, if you even think that means in the next four months, I’ll throw something at you. 😉

    But it could be fun! And congrats on a great 1st day, Silver!

  • Stacey Joy Netzel said:

    I was thinking January–

    *ducking*

    –but could probably be persuaded to do March or April.

    *Whew* It didn’t hit me…so later it is. :)

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