I am heartily loving National Novel Writing Month more than I ever thought I would. I know it’s been around forever, but I’m this year I’m finally ready for it. It’s a great inspiration to have scads of other people all going through the same motions, motivated by a belief in their own need to be part of something great and to leave a sort of mark.
Kind of not unlike church, really.
But here’s the one thing I don’t quite get about the NaNoWriMo experience. There are all these ‘Write-Ins’ where anyone who is a part of the group, and it’s free and easy to join, is welcome to go to neat and funky and vibe-charging venues to work on their novels. Fido’s is a frequent Write-In joint, and Paneras all over the city have become de-facto scriptoria. Last weekend, in an event I missed thanks to my parents and my malfunctioning uterus, there was even a private gathering at the foot of Athena in the Parthenon.
I’m dying to go to one of these things in spite of my reclusive nature. Because I fear there aren’t too many people with whom I share things in common who are also easy to find. And I figure a write-in is a great place to find them.
But I could never actually write at one.
I keep reading these threads on the NaNoWriMo Nashville Forum about how people go with a laptop or a notebook to sit at Panera with other authors and write. And the more I read the more I realise I could no more write at a restaurant than I could swipe a tabletop in that same restaurant clear with one arm and give my husband a Mexican Halloween in public.
I remember college. For a year and a half I was infamous at Taylor University for sitting at a specific table in the front of the library and “studying” while I was really holding court with other members of the Poli Sci Majors unofficial club. We talked about issues–of course–and people-watched. Because that’s what I do in a public place. I go to public places to be in public and to watch other people be in public. The part of my mind that creates things needs dark and solitude.
I’m going to a write-in and halfway celebration lunch on Sunday. They’re both right by my house. I’ll try to do something at the write-in but I’ll be honest. I’ll probably just drink a hot cider and doodle in my notebook and surf the web on my iphone. And be banned from all future write-ins.