National Novel Writing Month
Our time at home has been incredibly fruitful for me as I continue to delve into writing my first book. I try to write primarily in the mornings. Now that we’re not working nights as often, and going to bed at a more regular hour, the mornings are when I have the most energy and focus. I take my cup of Pero (a vaguely coffee-like substance made from roasted chicory root), big black unlined journal and uniball extra fine point pen upstairs to our little writing room. It’s a sweet room under the eaves of the house that also serves as a guest room for musicians passing through town. It’s got a simple desk we bought at a second hand furniture store in Baltimore a few years ago. David wrote most of the new album on this desk, which sits in a little nook overlooking our quiet street and beyond the street, Carter’s Mountain, a neighboring mountain to Jefferson’s Monticello.
In November, I participated in a version of National Novel Writing Month, fondly referred to as NaNoWriMo. I didn’t write a novel in a month, but I did write every day for a month and the experience was really gratifying. It turns out that writing isn’t actually the hard part. The hard part is saying no. Saying no to the pile of dishes in the sink, the unread emails, the ever-new-and-enticing Instagram feed, the much-needed nap, the unpaid bills, the multitude of ways we fill our time at home doing important things other than what we’re supposed to be doing, which in my case, was writing. Making the commitment helped me. And having a community of writers supporting me made a really big difference.
Some days the writing has been pretty free-form, stream-of-consciousness, more along the lines of the Morning Pages that Julia Cameron talks about in The Artist’s Way. But other days I try to tackle topics I’ve been avoiding writing about -- you know, the easy stuff like the birth of my son, a friend’s death in high school, my feelings about mood stabilizers -- topics I’ve wanted to delve into but had been putting off because of how hard they are. David is supporting me in huge ways with encouragement and by taking over duties of the house so that I have time to come upstairs and write. In some ways I never want this time at home to end. But in other ways, I'm really itching to get back on the road and play these new songs for you. The few shows we have had this fall have been wonderful reminders of the why we are doing this. I am just feeling grateful that my creative life is expanding into new territory.