3 Oct 2014
Friday night I was blindsided. Punched in the soul. By my best friend. She meant it too. It wasn’t a casual sucker punch to the solar plexus, it was much worse than that.
It was a considered and impassioned blow, in the midst of the conversation about life and our shared joy, writing.
While the martinis were soothing our weariness, and sluicing off the busyness of life, we returned to the question of our own writing, one of our frequent topics. This time, it wasn’t just the two of us, there were other observers of the conversation. Other people who love to write, love to read and talk about it. Three of the four of us have previously completed National Novel Writing month. One of us has been writing a memoir for more years than I care to think about. One of the four of us was talking about a work in progress that had the rest of us enthralled and wishing it was finished already so we could start reading it. We talked research, editors and this November. This year’s National Novel Writing Month. And about doing it again. NaNoWriMo as it is known requires a 50, 000 word novel in 30 days. In November, hundreds of thousands of writerly folk around the world put themselves through this, for fun (!) I’ve done it twice, the first time I utterly failed, and the next year I managed it. Champagne all round. That was almost three years ago.
As you know, I have been running with the #blogvember idea. I had convinced myself it was more manageable and realistic than trying to write 1667 words a day, every day, for 30 days. Write a blog post a day, that I can do. I started up with my standard rejection speech for NaNoWriMo.
I can’t, I said. How can I? With full time job and child and and and … excusing myself with well practiced and polished demurements to the walls I had to scale to find the time to write.
Then a pause.
Same as the rest of us, she said. Get up early, stop watching tv, just write it. Same as the rest of us.
Smack! Right into my soul. ‘Same as the rest of us’.
I have written before about writing. Perhaps too often, rather than actually, you know, writing. I need to acknowledge that. I am making excuses. Mostly inadequate excuses.
I am not going to write heartfelt pledges and swear to do it, but I’m on notice. I know it. She knows it and now you know it too. As Oscar Wilde reminds us, a good friend will always stab you in the front.