Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week Two NaNo: The Stories We Tell Ourselves

November opens a new door to a new novel, but sometimes the stories I tell myself make it harder to walk
through that door with ease. (Image © Lori Gravley)
I don’t remember a beginning as bad as this one.  I feel like I’m in a Lemony Snickett novel.  Part of this is probably because I’m dreading that I’ll be traveling for work for 15 days out of November’s 30.
And writing that I realize that’s the problem.  The stories I tell myself.
It started with a story about how I needed to write 3,000 words a day to get ahead in order to be ready to travel.  It continues with a story about how difficult it will be to write while I’m also teaching a class by myself in Kenya.  It continues with stories about how I’ve failed in the past at doing what I wanted to do while traveling on business.  It’s furthered by worries about writing on the plane, in the airport, etc.
In order to convincingly tell myself these stories, I have to totally disregard all the times I’ve awakened at 5AM to get my words in before my work day starts. 
I have to ignore the tens of thousands of words I’ve written on the plane and in airports.  I have to ignore all the poems, blog posts, chapters in novels, essays, and other work that I’ve written in hotel rooms.
As is so often the case, the story is the problem.
And when I can recognize that, I’m able to come back to my work with renewed vigor and hope.
What stories are you telling yourself about your WIP or NaNo?  Are they helping or hurting your writing? 
When I can identify the stories and challenge them, my work often gets easier.  I let go of all the tension I’m feelin that I don’t need to feel and sit with what is.  Hopefully, I'll be able to do this during this week of NaNo writing.  

Here’s to a wonderfully successful and more comfortable Week Two.

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