Wisdom – I Hardly Knew Ye

Why must some people learn things the hard way? I’m referring to myself of course. I like to bend rules. Even more fun to break them. Sometimes there is a reason for rules though. This whole NaNoWriMo thing is breaking my brain. It’s also causing me to have a mini nervous breakdown. What rule did I break? Why the NO part of NaNoWriMo. No meaning novel. Well blow me down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still plugging away. The pothole in the road is that my story morphed from a novel into a semi fictional auto-biography. A biography is not a novel.

I broke another rule. Don’t go back and read what you wrote – keep writing! I did and opened Pandora’s box. Oh my god, I think, I can’t write this. Well yes, actually I can, but can I publish this? If I’m willing to run the risk of nobody every speaking to me again, including people I’ve never met, sure go right ahead. Scrambling for rationalization, I think, Eureka, I have a plan. I will wait until everyone I know is dead, then publish. This plan has a major flaw. I don’t know that many people older than me. So I will be dead too. Where’s the fun in that?

Writing about my life poses other problems as well. Scrutinizing one’s entire life on paper in 30 days sends one into a paroxysm of self-examination that would try the hardiest of souls. Maybe there is a damned good reason to explore someone’s life after they are gone. “Did that really happen? Why do you think that’s funny? That was a horrifying experience. Why was that so traumatic to you? That’s happened to others and they aren’t curled up behind the sofa in a fetal position, sniveling into a blanky. What will the result of this month be? Will I spend the rest of the year gluing macaroni smiley faces to paper plates?

So I struggle onward, cursed by my own stubborn attitude. The month is 2 thirds done and the draft is 1 thirds done. Now I remember what I liked the least about corporate hell. Deadlines…the bane of existence. Deadlines are here to stay in my life though. I have to get the inspection sticker renewed on my car on a deadline. Snarling “yer not the boss of me” to the traffic cop who pulls me over for an expired sticker isn’t going to get me very far. Well maybe to the local lockup if he’s had a bad day. But, it’s probably not a good idea to create situations as fodder for future stories.

I’m not writing a long and winding novel like Atlas Shrugged here. More like Atlas Staggered, fell to one knee – then went to happy hour to recuperate and didn’t come home for a week. Never read that book, actually. But, the title has always given me a giggle. Mom hates that book with a passion, so if you’re reading this, Mumzelle, please don’t go into a tizzy. We’ll talk about it next week when I get to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. Turkey and family, that’s living.

12 responses

  1. You crack me up:

    Eureka, I have a plan. I will wait until everyone I know is dead, then publish. This plan has a major flaw. I don’t know that many people older than me. So I will be dead too. Where’s the fun in that?

    😆 😆

    Publish and be damned!!! There is the fin. Hey, if no-one talks to you, you’ll have a peaceful retirement!

  2. You are so funny! I laughed & snorted my way through this post, which is a most delightful way to start a Monday!

    1. Thank you Pink. It’s an honor to be part of your good Monday 🙂

  3. I haven’t had the courage to go back and read what I’ve written. I’m just hanging in there, and hope you are, too.

    1. Thanks, Pat. You are trucking on great. I think it takes more courage to forge ahead and not read back.

  4. Stop overthinking it!

    And I too am shockingly behind and terrified that I realise I wanted to write an entirely different novel and now it’s too late and maybe I can just divert and… and… just write, don’t think… and for godsakes – you can change the details later to protect the guilty… that is the second fictionalisation…

    1. Just write don’t think. Just write don’t think. Maybe I can make that into a mantra.

      No sooner did I read this than an enormous crash sounded from the other room. The coat closet collapsed. We looked in there and my solution was to shove the closet closed and pretend it didn’t happen. Wonder if hubby thinks I’m using writing as an excuse to not do something about the closet.

    1. Ah thanks for sharing. I liked that post.

  5. Totally love your rewriting of Atlas Shrugged–“More like Atlas staggered, fell to one knee. . .” I never read the book either. However, since I’m currently battling the memoir monster myself, I can appreciate your struggle with autobiograqphical writing. I have a post about this, which I will go back and find–return with link. Happy Sunday to you————-

    1. LOL the memoir monster. I like that.

    2. That’s me too – memoir monster – I like it too!

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