“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”
A hero on a vision quest (just like my protagonist), I gathered my tools, which included a Lenovo E530 laptop that arrived on the fifteenth, a download of the NaNo trial version of Scrivener, and a case of Maxwell House Breakfast Blend. Breakfast Blend? What am I, some kind of java wuss? HA! I laugh in the face of coffee; however, drinking more than one cup of mud from those gourmet beans — the ones that are hand-picked from fresh mountain lion crap and sun-roasted atop the highest peak in Columbia beside a pile of cocaine — can really wreak havoc on my tum-tum. Ouchies.
Next came a support group: my writing buddies who were also participating in NaNo…and you folks. Gus, The Fool, kept me laughing the entire trip with the comical way he expressed himself — loved it; Roxanne, The Nurturer, walked me through my questions like a patient mother, the Carol Brady to my voice-changing Peter (Brady — not a talking willy).
Julie stepped-in as The Father’s Daughter, a confident intellectual who encouraged me through daily struggles and told me to just “keep writing, no matter what!” Egg filled the role of The Recluse, a sensitive, philosophical, discerning friend who, with a rich inner life, preferred solitude during the journey, but made welcome appearances at least twice a week, if not just to say, “Hey…good job.”
And Demetria, The Matriarch, cheered and did back-flips from the sidelines no matter how far behind I was on word count, like the soccer Mom of the kid who always kicks the ball backwards. Thanks, D…I finally made it to the goal (and the correct goal, at that).
Then, on November 1st, I was off…like a herd of turtles.
It was my mom’s birthday and absolutely no writing was accomplished, but it was planned that way. The next day I opened a jar of bottled lightning, jammed out 4600+ words, patted myself on the back, and then flatlined. Look for yourself:
Whatever was going on had to have been something hectic and harried — it always is — but thank goodness one of you came to my rescue at the end of that first week, because the heartbeat was defibrillated and my writing, resuscitated.
Trudging out of the hole, about halfway through I had a stroke of good fortune — Sciatica! SCIATICA! It helps if you read that with a Pacino spin. But thank God for small and excruciatingly painful favors that keep one bed-ridden for a week and a half. Two, actually — I milked it good. Anyway, it allowed for relatively unencumbered writing in the solitude of my warm and cozy bed. Ahh…the life. It was absolutely wonderful, and the pain pills helped…a lot. Monty gets a little psychedelic in Chapter Eleven.
So by the time all that was over, I was back on track and kept the pace for the rest of the journey. Granted, the book is planned at around 65,000 words, so another 15,000 still need to be auditioned and cast, which is December’s goal. Then, the real work of revision and rewrites begins — months of polishing it up to make that gold nugget shine! And hopefully in the process, the first draft of book two.
I started this post with a quote from Ayn Rand about the creative man’s desire to achieve, not compete, and that’s what this became for me…a strong desire to create a story, and to achieve that goal in a month’s time.
It was also a lesson in camaraderie, in reaching out to my writing brethren and sistren, drawing from their strengths and experiences and the unique roles they played on the journey. They’ll be remembered in the dedication. I might not write them in, but they’ll be remembered at some point.
And that was NaNoWriMo 2012…my first. But hopefully, I’m not the only winner in this. If all works out, millions — nay, billions — of people all across the globe will come to know Monty Tucker, buying books on his adventures, watching the movie and sequels, collecting merchandise and selling it on eBay…that’s not asking too much, is it?
And to all my cohorts who participated and achieved a certificate like the one above — onward and upward to step two! No rest for the weary!