Wednesday, February 7, 2007

1000 words a day

February means Write Here Right Now, or Scotland's novel writing month. Some colleagues and I have teamed up to get our butts in gear and write 1000 words/day, more to prove that we can than anything else. The interpretations of this project are fantastic - one is reworking a 100-pg project, one expanding a short story he wrote, one just turned 30 and is reflecting on his past decade, and one is writing a series of essays. The response has been interesting; I'm one who rarely tells people about this fiction animal within that I cannot tame, and offhand comments to friends about work I've done have been shamelessly outsed to the greater public. This was horribly embarassing at first; for some reason I've always felt like a phony since none of my fiction has ever hit the big time. However, people are loving it; everyone's asking about our word counts, and we've got fabulous banter going between the five of us.

As frustrating as this shift from bored in Slovenia to overworked in Switzerland has been, it is so refreshing to be around people with just as much repressed creative energy as I have. I respect these guys so much for getting it done, and balancing the crazy workload here enough to allow for the flow to take over.

I'm also reworking a piece I wrote last year. I gave parts of it to Emma and Isla, both of whom independently suggested similar changes which I am implementing now, giving it a new perspective and a fresh sense of place. I wish I could adequately describe the magic that happens when the flow takes control - my fingers begin typing without giving me time to think, time stops, and I forget about absolutely everything but the characters and their little world. Isla sent me a wonderful article from the Sydney newspaper; gems of quotations abound, but the gist was that the threat of not writing is enough to keep the true writer producing their work, whether it's brilliant or pish. I am hoping for the former.

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