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Writing Like You Mean It

I recently went to a brief writing retreat at a cabin reserved for writers near the Finger Lakes. It was, to put it mildly, remote. But the windows offered a lovely view of a lot of rain on leaves that were turning color. The rain is probably what kept me writing. No temptation to go outside. It’s funny how negatives help you. No TV, no problem. Sure, you say, you can stream on your computer. Not with spotty Internet you can’t. And my sweet husband left the cozy cabin every morning for nearly the entire day so I could focus.

And I focused. I wrote 11,683 words that weekend. And I think most of them are grammatically correct and in pleasing sentences for someone to read. Or not. I’m almost afraid to look at them. In fact, when I picked it back up, I read the last thing I wrote and just went forward from there. Yes. I just moved on. Didn’t even reread what I had read. Sort of the NaNoWriMo state of mind, only without all of those other rules.

Anyway, I had written myself over a hump and into a corner. Good thing the weekend ended at that point because I had no idea what was going to happen next. Which might be good because the reader will hopefully wonder as well. For now, I am shuffling out of the corner carefully. I know it will all be changed when I revise, because everyone knows that first drafts are all rubbish. I have to get from the place I am now to the end I know. I’m not sure what happens between here and there, but it will come to me as I sit down and start to type.

I’m writing like I mean it. I’m serious about it. I’m sitting down and only looking up things if they are research for something in the manuscript. I take short pre-planned breaks to check email and social media, but mostly when I’m writing, I’m writing.

If you’ve taken on the NaNo… good luck to you. If you’re writing a novel on your own, cheers! If you’re writing poetry or short stories or memoir or journaling… keep it up! Write like you mean it. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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