NoMo Whining

Just write. It’s pretty simple.

Last June, I took a creative nonfiction writing workshop with Roger Rosenblatt. It was hard and I survived. Every day, we had to deliver two 250-word essays. That’s not much writing in reality. (Right now, for example, I am on word 47.) After the workshop, Roger, a kind and generous man, asked me to send him 40 pages by September. I agreed to do this. No, I didn’t just agree. I agreed effusively, ecstatically. And then I didn’t write again for a month. And then I wrote very little. In September, I sent Roger a pithy little card with a quote by Mark Twain advising to put off tomorrow what was put off today. Or something like that.

In short, I fucked up.

I couldn’t write. I was anxious about writing, unable to shush the critic in my head. I let my job take over everything. Daily, I fought internal battles about balancing work, exercise, gardening and writing. I focused on “how” I could do these things all at once, instead of just doing one at a time. I developed anemia. Is it related? I don’t know, but probably.

So here I am again. It’s not quite starting from scratch—I have some skills. I’ve done this often enough to know once I get into a rhythm, writing becomes more enjoyable.

I want to list some ideas/topics I have for yeah write’s NoMo challenge month. Maybe I’ll write about each one, maybe I won’t. Maybe one will inspire me to write about something else entirely. It doesn’t matter. Just write.

  • Do scientists feel really stressed out about global warming?
  • Evolution is a fact and other flat-out truths
  • Letters to my mom
  • Calling “time and temperature” (honest, we used to do this)
  • Cats and string theory (not really)
  • Making lists of topics once a week
  • Root balls in the pipes
  • Dark matter

My word count today? 318.

21 Comments NoMo Whining

  1. Jennifer G. Knoblock November 2, 2015 at 12:43 am

    A post every day from Meg? I can’t wait!

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 2, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Awww. I hope it doesn’t turn into a mundane minutia-fest. Thanks, Jennifer.

  2. livebysurprise November 2, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Haha. Cats and string theory. I’d definitely read that.

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 2, 2015 at 1:13 am

      🙂 Someone shares my sense of humor! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Michael November 2, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Root balls in the pipes? I’m not entirely certain what that is, but it sounds an intriguing problem. 🙂

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 2, 2015 at 1:32 am

      Hah. It’s certainly an *expensive* problem, Michael.

  4. Silverleaf November 2, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Ah, Meg, this spoke to me in so many ways. The writing vs gardening vs working vs exercise vs whatever else one must/wishes to do – that’s exactly where I am, and have been since June. But you’re quite right about not thinking about it all all at the same time. Maybe this was the gentle kick I needed 🙂

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:55 am

      If I can do it, you can, Silver! I miss youuuuuuuu. You’ve been to so many amazing places, you must have stories that are aching to get out. Set them free, my friend. Love you.

      1. Silverleaf November 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

        You’re right, the stories are there, and many of them are in draft on my phone, they either just don’t ring true or I’m not in the right frame of mind to write. Lots going on and I do so much writing and word manipulation during the day, that by the end my brain is often fried. Still, I’m hoping to use November to work on things bit by bit. Thanks so much for the love and cheering. Love you too!

  5. Parul Thakur November 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Oh you can do it! And that list of topics is super interesting! Go for it! 🙂

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:53 am

      Thanks, Parul!

  6. karenspillingwords November 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I look forward to reading your daily musings, you’re a great writer. Maybe you will inspire others (myself included). I haven’t written a thing in almost a year. Write on. Xo

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:52 am

      I have missed your writing so much, Karen. I know you’ve been super busy but I hope you take a moment for yourself. So good to see you here. xoxo

  7. Stacie November 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    So excited you joined! Can’t wait to read all the things from you!

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:51 am

      Love you, Stacie! <3

  8. Thain in Vain November 3, 2015 at 2:11 am

    I’m excited to see what you write or not from your list! And I make all kinds of promises that I don’t follow through with! Owning it is key! TiV

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:51 am

      TiV! How I’ve missed you! Thanks for stopping by. Can’t wait to visit your blog again!

  9. Janelle Weibz November 3, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Happy NaBloPoMo! *We* can do it. I find writing kind of snowballs, for better or worse – if you put it off it keeps getting put off, but if you put yourself in writing mode the ideas will snowball. At least that’s what I’m hoping cuz I’m going into this month on a whim and without a plan!

    1. Avatar photoMeg November 3, 2015 at 4:49 am

      So true! Thanks for reading and commenting, Janelle.

  10. Shannon SimsFan November 6, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Dark matter is fascinating.. lots of scope I think for science fiction-y type writing

  11. Rolling November 29, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Well, it was very interesting to read the confessions of a writer who thinks he is in the making. I wish – no I think when I get back to teaching someday again, I shall read this out to my students who struggle with writing. I want them particularly to read that realization of yours that anxiety does not do it, it is when you begin to enjoy the tedious process of typing or writing one word after another on paper or the screen that it begins to be a rewarding experience. Of course not everyone can make millions out of writing, just as not everyone working in a lab scores a Nobel. But that now you enjoy it, you are able to pass that on to your readers and it is such a delight to glide through your prose, which is smooth, flowing like a brook through the crevice and crannies of our minds. I enjoyed your post very much. I wish to come read you again. I dislike dark matter. But I like what you are doing. The whole challenge of producing a durable piece of work of art is to transfer onto a medium the deepest innermost material there is so others can “see” it and “feel” it and realize that they “knew it too but could not quite articulate it the way you have now”. I hope you never ever stop writing. I would have been proud to have such a hard working ‘student’ like you in my class! (I used to teach third grade and Class XII boys English in a high school in India). So, your teacher am sure is proud of you or should be. I would love to read about your real life, as a reader. Life flowing all aroubnd you that touches you, and becomes you and transforms you on a daily basis, that is what you could write about for readers like me. That letter “to mother” material is eternally relevant, always interesting, cuts across cultural barriers like nothing else does! 🙂 Hope reading you I learn to be a better writer. (I want to add you to my blogroll but since I had stopped blogging all these years struggling with the dark and dismal in my own life, I have forgotten how to use the WP features and tools, if I can get some pointers and help I should have you on my list but until I do am trying to save your page by writing the name of your blog down in my diary – I love “pigspittle” in your title 🙂 it is darned SEO ed by default! and it should be easy to find you again. Today I found you by browsing through freshly pressed, am glad they have this feature on WP or I would never have found your blog or read you). Am sorry about the l-o-n-g chatty comment, in future, promise I shall keep them short. Tc.


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