Last November was different.
I had a good job.Good pay. Good hours. Good vacations. Good opportunities. I had a good apartment. No rent. No roommates. No am-I-going-to-make-rent stress. And I had a social life in one of the best cities in the world.
But I left.
I flew halfway around the world, from Beijing to Buffalo. I left the good job, the apartment, and – hardest of all – the friends and life of Beijing. As great as living in China was, there were practical difficulties that made writing – or, more accurately, publishing – difficult.
So I came back.
I came back for one reason. To write. And if I’m not going to push my writing till I fucking pass out on my keyboard, well, then, there’s a nice spot on the other side of the planet where I could be making good use of my life. So what am I waiting for? I’m here to write. And that means challenge. Challenge grows skill, and my skills are getting restless.
So so I’m upping the pressure.
I’m taking all the scribbling, rambling, backpedaling, and erasing that’s usually done behind closed doors, and moving it into public space.
Yeah, that’s a thing.
It’s called livewriting. That’s exactly what it sounds like. Writing live, either alone, like this or in a more cooperative effort, like this. I’m not at the cooperative stage yet. (Baby steps!) But I will be putting my writing efforts out in real time for all to see.
This is a serious challenge for me.
Not the whole OMG-PEOPLE-WILL-SEE part. I’ve put enough of my stuff online that, when it comes to my writing, I have no shame. But, as anyone who was around for NaNoWriMo 2011 may remember, I do not generally write in a linear fashion. Author Dean Wesley Smith would call my kind of writer a Put-inner, not a Take-Outer. I write skeletons. Then I go back and add flesh. Then I go back and add more flesh. And so on.
For NaNoWriMo 2011, I challenged myself to write Skyland linearly. Each chapter, one after another after another went online. Of course, one year later and I’m still adding in (and taking out!) But the basic Beginning-Middle-End to the story was there. This meant my fellow NaNos and others could follow along. I got feedback, I got encouragement, and (if I may say so myself) I got a damn good story out of it.
And I need more.
More challenge. More practice. More feedback. More Oh-My-Fucking-God-I’m-Crazy-Why-The-Hell-Am-I-Doing-This? Because ultimately that’s what NaNoWriMo is all about. And I didn’t come all the way back from China to NOT sit on my ass and write as hard as I could.
So I’m throwing the doors to the study open and having a fucking party. So come on in. RSVPs not needed. Write. Read. Chug coffee. Have conversations with people who aren’t there. Write till you drop. That’s what I’ll be doing come November 1, 2012.
PS. So, um, anyone ever actually done live writing before? Ever read (uh… watched?) it? Maybe I didn’t mention, I have no idea what I’m doing!