Letting the Drama Escape the Page

I’m writing this on a flight to Orlando for work, after re-reading a couple of chapters of Julia Cameron’s excellent The Right to Write.  I’m also feeling a bit of creative conviction.  I’ve let my mood, and personal drama, come between me and the page–something Cameron insists is the equivalent of “active creative sabotage.”  

She’s absolutely right.  

A few years ago, my husband and I were the drama ministry team leaders at our church.  Because it was a relatively small church, we found ourselves both acting and sharing the responsibility for directing a dinner theatre production.  

What I learned from that experience is that you can play a part, or you can observe the scene.  You can’t do both at the same time–at least, not well.  

I can either put my energy and attention on playing a part in some sort of personal drama, or I can detach, observe–and possibly get some very good writing out of it.  

Playing the part in the drama can be tempting.  For a short time anyway, playing damsel in distress or scheming vixen is a lot more fun than remaining offstage, scribbling away at whatever writing work is at hand.  

But at the end of it all, once the drama has passed (and it always passes, eventually) all you have to show for playing your part is whatever leftover adrenaline remains to feed your addiction.  

Writing offers a return that is much more tangible, not to mention healthier.

So since it’s still National Novel Prep Month, I can still step gingerly away from the ledge of my personal drama for the next week or two, and continue to get geared up for NaNoWriMo.  

In my last Writing post, I suggested that you find an inspiration piece for your National Novel Writing Month novel.  This week, prompted by my latest adventure, I’m going to suggest that you start a daily writing practice.  

It doesn’t have to be lengthy, or fiction, or related to your NaNo novel.  The idea is just to get in the habit of daily “whether I feel like it or not” writing.  It can be a paragraph, or a certain word count, or a page, or whatever feels do-able at this point.  

At the end of this week, if you’re feeling frisky, double the goal for the last week of National Novel Prep Month.  

See you next week!

img courtesy kimberlee kessler design

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