I wanted this to be another inspirational blog post. I did. I wanted to sit down and write something that would lift up the spirits of all my fellow NaNoWriMo participants.
But I also am having difficulty myself, and I don’t want to do the disservice of making this all look easy.
It isn’t. Writing this much is a lot of work. It takes dedication and sleep deprivation and giving up activities, and it takes a certain kind of magic in us that sparks creativity.
I’m feeling exhausted, that bone-deep-hit-the-bottom-of-my-creative-well kind of exhaustion. I feel like a magician who has lost his way, doomed to a fate of never finding the right story every again.
Yesterday, I passed 20,000 words on my first novel of the month. I’m putting it aside for now. It’s time to start the next novel, the second for November.
And I am drawing that oh-so-terrible blank; my magic isn’t working.
I’ve written 10 novels, eleven since last November. I am afraid that I have no ideas left, no creativity in me. I’m run dry, aren’t I? How can I not be?
I’m frightened that I’m a wizard with no more magic tricks, no more stories left to tell.
What I need is to come back to myself for a moment, to reach within and find the next idea, to stop worrying about if I will make it or if I’m writing something good. I need to return to myself and be the writer I am, the person who never says die and who doesn’t care what happens as long as the words come.
In the book (and movie) The Last Unicorn, the magician Schmendrick is a man who was so bad at being a wizard, his instructor cursed him to immortality until he could finally perform real magic. He walks the earth for hundreds of years, until finally something so important is at stake, that he gives himself up and says,
“Magic, do as you will.”
And it works, not in any way he could have imagined or controlled, but it works. Just like writing works and just like NaNoWriMo works. I just need to give myself over to it, and to let go of what I expect.
Okay. Time to begin again.
Magic, do as you will…