It’s National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as #NaNoWriMo … I think. Otherwise known as 30 Days of Self-Inflicted Anxiety for would-be, could-be, perhaps should-be writers. I’m not in this year.
But serendipitously, on the first day of NaNoWriMo, I found myself finishing up “Steal Like and Artist,” which I had started months ago, stopped to blog about at a low point (with myself/career, not the book), and never completed reading.
Write between the lines
One thing that stuck was the idea of being creative within confines. Of time, of energy, of space.
Net: confines can foster creativity. So I gave myself a page and decided to fill it up with long-hand — no more, no less. What follows is what happened next. And what follows that is a typed, altogether more legible version.
If you start, you may not end where you wanted to go. But when you stop, you’ve reached an end. Not the end, perhaps not your intended end. But you’ve gotten to the Omega to your Alpha.
Maybe for this, it’s here.
So the push comes from the scratch inside your head. That in turn scratches the pen across the paper. Dang, my arm is tired already. Just this far in.
But there is an intoxicant at work here – it’s blue ink, lines no longer barren. Thoughts reaped, harvested across the line like bundles of wheat across a valley floor – gathered together. Upright, spent, but with life-giving power.
There’s an opportunity in each line. Tabula rasa is it? Blank slate? I dunno.
So as I scoot toward the end of the page – cresting halfway – between accomplishment and anxiety. What I’ve said vs. what I’ve written.
But I’m only pushing myself to fill the page. To reach that Omega. This is my constraint. This is my Incredibly Shrinking Goal – not to be feared. It should fear me.
Stare long enough into the Abyss and it will stare back. I am the Abyss. I am the unfathomable. I am without limit. The lactic acid builds in my arm, as the ink drains in proportion. Here – take this last line and absorb my ink, my words, my creation, and retain it until the end.