So! I’m doing NANOWRIMO (however you spell it) next month.
For fellow artists and students who wander across this blog, I’d like to share something with you. I think it would’ve helped me to hear this:
You will not magically find the time to write after college.
Time will fly as never before in your life when you leave this campus. Looking back, you will wonder how you ever had this much free time… when whole hours seemed to drift like lazy summer days. Cherish this gift, and use the days well. You will not see their like again.
You will never be more free than you are right now.
As graduation looms, you will see the corridors of commerce open to you. You may find yourself in a dark suit, winding clockwork patterns beneath marble pillars. Or you may drift into chaotic markets, where life’s rhythms shift endlessly in a whirlwind of color and sound.
I’m sure you remember how it began.
One day, you started to hear music over the noise of the crowd. You looked up and saw leaves dancing on every tree. Stars wheeled overhead, and you realized there are other worlds than these.
And you began to write.
This month, I invite you to join me in finishing something.
To call it into existence. Because the thought of silencing that beautiful song becomes a act of criminal negligence. Because you cannot bear the shame of leaving a blank page when you have seen masterpieces of beauty and truth.
Those of you truly dedicated to their art will make that decision today.
Those of you who wish to succeed, will not stop until the work is done.
I thought of cheating with this – not sending it till after I finished NANOWRIMO.
It’s probably more advisable to succeed first before boldly painting myself into a corner like I’ve just done.
I guess that’s why the crazy heroes always make a speech.
For that extra boost of motivation; knowing they’ll be laughed out of town if they fail. It will mean they conned someone into believing in them and let that person down.
I don’t intend to do that.
I’m writing with a buddy, and we intend to kick each other’s ass if we don’t write. (Michelle, take notes) I think it’s better this way. I can imagine ahead of time the sting of becoming a hypocrite should I fail. It’s on the page in black and white. I have someone to remind me if I fail. I need that.
Join me: let someone know you’re doing NANOWRIMO this month.
Let your classmates or your writing group know you’re serious. Let yourself know you’re serious. Let them kick your ass if you start to decide otherwise. ;-). Because if you’re not serious, what are you doing here? You want a vacation, visit Tahiti. You’re want to write, then write, dammit.
Ps. For those of you lucky enough to be attending Category Fiction, Novel, or any other classes at the University of Oklahoma with Deborah Chester
— READ the books Chester assigns.
Books assigned in Chester’s classes are the exception to the rule you became familiar with after several semesters in college:
“Will there be a test on it?”
“Then I don’t need to read it, do I?”
Normally higher education involves somebody you do not know, teaching you about something you do not want to know. Instead, you have the privilege of studying under a woman who imparts secrets of the most ancient magic known to man.
You’ve done well by choosing Chester’s class. Do yourself another favor and listen.
Listen and write.