Friday, November 13, 2009

Crossing THE MIDDLE (duh duh duuuhh!)

I finally got around to reading my week two pep talk from Maureen Johnson and I found that her advice for writing can apply to many other areas of my life. She begins by talking about Australia and how it is about the same size of the United States, but everyone lives along the coast. This means that there is about 2000 miles of nothing in "the Middle" and that is where all the things that can kill you live.

"Here’s the thing, though...if you're doing NaNoWriMo, you are a reader, because all writers are readers. Which means that you must admire many authors. Your shelves are lined with the works of your heroes and sheroes. Every single one of them has crossed the wild country where you are now. Every single one of them has been a resident of The Middle. The ground you're treading is full of the remains of their old campsites. And somewhere around you, just out of sight, current authors you admire are making their own way across The Middle. What's nice about NaNoWriMo is that you are traveling with a posse of thousands, all of you making your way over the mountains, through the valleys, across the creeks. You are fighting off the beasties.

And once you've crossed The Middle once or twice and you're lounging on the other side, you'll find you miss it. You'll realize you long to be out there again, under the sky and the stars. The weather changes a lot in the middle. Some days, the skies are dark and it's hard to find your way forward. Those days are long and little progress is made. Some days, it's strangely bright and clear, and suddenly you can see the horizon ahead, and dozens of possible paths present themselves to you. But every day is different, and every day there is a new way to go and a new thing to see."

Well, I am definitely entering the MIDDLE of my book and progress has slowed dramatically...duh duh duuuhhn, but hopefully it will not ground to a complete stop. This is the part of the book where everything happens and you would think that would be easier to write, but for some reason it isn't. I keep finding myself asking more questions (which is good) and turning back on the path I've chosen to try a different one. There are so many choices to make that it can be paralyzing.

I think we all cross the Middle several times in our lives, even if you are not trying to write a novel. I am now 35, definitely in the MIDDLE of this so called life. My kids are not grown, but they are not babies--the MIDDLE. We finally make enough money to pay the bills, but not enough to save very much each paycheck--please say this is the MIDDLE! And so on...but I love knowing that I have good friends all around me who are crossing the MIDDLE at the same time. Even on days when I hide at home and cannot see the progress, I know they are out their trudging through the sand dunes (or mud here in Charlotte), cutting past the vines of the jungles (poison ivy anyone?) and doing their best just like I am trying to do my best. Isn't it good to know that each day is filled with such wonderful opportunities?

For my fellow wrimos, see you when we make it to the beach!

1 comment:

Lanna said...

Aptly stated, Charity! I'm in the middle, too. Just remember this -- even the middle has little beginnings and ends. It's all in the perspective.