NaNoWriMo: Blank Pages

Soooo…here’s the thing: I am a writer. I have a photo of me at the age of (3) sitting at our kitchen table with a pen in my mouth. I have always been a writer. I used to dream of being (2) things as a kid:  becoming Shelia E., and becoming a best selling children’s book author.

The Shelia E. dream was crushed when I had a shot at actually learning to play the drums in elementary school. The teacher gave the drum pads to the boys in the music class and I got the f***ing recorder. To this day I hate that instrument. I could have continued to push for the whole drum thing, but instead I took the recorder and made the boys (and the teacher) feel increasingly uncomfortable with the Omen “I hate you all” glares during class. Writing–how it disappeared, anyway–is a bit different.

I used to read and write all of the time. I wrote stories that were pretty awesome, actually. I loved Poe and Shakespeare. Stine and King. I lived for stories that went bump in the night. My writing reflected as much. I am unsure of where it went away, the writing. Perhaps it was when I detoured into marriage or motherhood. Maybe it just vanished when my imagination bowed out to reasonable thinking. Grown up stuff happened. Love, heartache, bad decisions (so much for the reasonable thinking), reality tv, drinking (wine is my friend–ok…might we pause here for a moment? I speak of drinking often, however, I would like it to be officially known that I am not a lush. I enjoy wine on Thursdays and the occasional beer if pizza is involved and, ok, a margarita if tacos are present, but outside of those moments, liquor and I are not friends. Just wanted to throw that out there–ok, let’s continue), sex (which is amazing btw…how come no one told me about that), bills and the rest of life most likely got in the way. Or perhaps, I got in my own stupid way. *sigh*

Every year NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) comes along and every year I make a point of joining in the fray. I create playlists for writing. I make space in my office (err–now my kitchen). I buy new spiral notebooks and pens. I pull out dictionaries and dust off thesauruses. I make room. And then…..blank pages. The story starts out fine but then it fizzles out and the blank pages stare. I stare. We stare together in a contest I know I won’t win. I always blink first.

This year I will attempt it again. This year I will make room again. This year I will try not to fail….again. If I could just write. If I could just get out of my own head and put pen to paper. If I could just go back. If I could just be that version of me again then maybe, just maybe, I can hold onto my gift. The Bible mentions something about that, you know. God, if you’re listening, I would like to have it back. I buried it. My mom told me not to, but you know how that goes….we never listen to those who know better. I want it back. I need it back. I have 50,000 words to write between November 1 & November 30. I can’t take the staring game with blank pages…I lose every time. I always blink first.

~SM

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