Like thousands around the world I take part annually in National Novel Writing Month or as we affectionately know it, NaNoWriMo. For those that are unfamiliar with this act of literary insanity it is a month long writing challenge where writers and aspiring writers throw caution to the wind to ignore family and friends while delving deep into a would be novel with the goal of producing fifty thousand words in the form of a story. From midnight on November first until midnight on November thirtieth well dedicate ourselves heart and should to the act of writing.
So why am I talking about my annual addiction several months before? Because yesterday I was working on revising and writing a piece and the words flowed without hesitation and it got me thinking about the word counts for NaNoWriMo. Recently drafted a short story for an anthology that is near and dear to my heart about domestic violence. That is the piece I am revising and as I took some time to read over it I noticed several areas that could be expanded or at least fleshed out with more detail.
At the time I wrote it I nearly gave up because the story is extremely personal. I didn't want to think about it, share it or relive it but I was reminded by wonderful friends that it could help others like myself that have abusive relationships. I survived and I want others to know they can too. When I write for Nano there comes the inevitable time when the words dwindle and begin hiding from me making me hunt them down so I can reach my daily goals. Yet as I worked yesterday they came almost so quickly that I was unable to keep up.
Why is it that when we share something painful the words can flow more easily? I understand that it is based on a true series of events and so I am not creating as much yet because it was and is something painful and that I wish I could have kept buried it seems like I would have struggled to find the words. For Nano I listen to my characters and share their stories for Survivor I am dredging up my own past and simultaneously sharing and hiding from it.
I may never understand why I am able to share my personal stories more easily than the ones I create but I hope all of my books reach an audience that understands them and that the experiences I share can help others like myself to know there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.