Stepping Up

After seven days of novel writing, I've developed a routine of sorts - wake early, do morning pages to "prime the pump," and then settle in to write for an hour or so. I've been trying to stay about 500 words ahead of my allotted 1667 words per day - so far, so good. As I mentioned last week, this year I've been more "up front" about participating in this project ~ which definitely provides additional incentive to complete it~and has also forced me to reflect on my motivation for spending all this time and effort on something that's (1) not required; (2) not going to earn any money; and (3) not "perfect."

One simple answer is, "because I can." In the past couple of years, I've found all these words lurking inside my head, I've met characters who beg to be brought to life on the page, characters whose stories wish to be told. I've discovered that word play affords me the kind of satisfaction others might get from running marathons, or woodworking, or gardening, or any other life enriching activity.

The satisfaction is in the doing; the reward is in the completion.

The other motivator is a little more complicated, but the words of a recent country song say it well...

When you get the choice,
To sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance.
The older I become, the more convinced I am that life is all about trying new experiences, about overcoming our fears of failure, fears of being not good enough, fears of looking foolish. Happiness comes when we allow ourselves to climb to the mountaintop and stop being afraid to fly, when we step out onto the floor and move into the dance.
Writing is one of the ways I dance.
And so, I find myself in a good place (so far) with this November novelizing.
May the dance continue.