where the writers are
A Writing Time of Year

I had to suppress a laugh this morning, when one of my sons went to pour milk on his cereal, but poured water instead.

I couldn’t help laughing because I, too, often do absentminded things, especially during this time of year.

During this time of year, the scenery in and around Prague is glorious. The final leaves of autumn glow in ochre and lemon brilliance in fading sunlight, and flutter and twirl their way to the chilling ground. And as the seasons give way to the frosty entrance of winter, I prepare to hunker down in my writing chair, and set off to write my next novel. Then, when I’m submerged in writing a new story, I drift toward committing absentminded deeds. Thus, why I had to chuckle, and enjoy that my sons love to read and get lost in a good story, too.

I’ve had a few people write and ask if I am writing, amongst the changes and busyness of expat life. I am.

November is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month in the States. The goal is to write a short novel, or 50,000 words in one month. If you do the math, yes, it’s a lot of writing. Somehow, though, November is a great month to start a novel.

I always find, as I begin to write on a new project, the hardest part is getting past the blank page. There is something paralyzing about the endless possibilities of a white piece of oblivion that causes the writer, the painter, the musician—creative people—to lock up. And though NaNoWriMo is the month to write a novel, perhaps the greatest accomplishment achieved in the entire month is getting past the blank page. Putting the words on paper. Overcoming the gripping paralysis that keeps a new story from coming to life. Whether it’s 50,000 words or 50 words, a true success might be birthing the courage to triumph over the Blank Page. For only once there, moving forward, can the true literary genius begin. Only there, moving onward past page one, can the beauty of a story take shape. And only there, putting our seat in the writing seat, can the habit of daily writing begin.

From here, in November, we have the rest of the glorious days of winter to draft, rewrite, and polish. November is a great beginning …

Happy writing, and finishing up with a successful NaNoWriMo!

-Jennifer