Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Hello. My name is Katie, and I’ve never done NANOWRIMO.

I know, this is pure blasphemy to some writers, but I’m afraid I can’t write that slowly. Only 50,000 words in 30 days? I wrote two full books in the month of April. 150,000 words total. Is April National Triple Novel Writing Month? NaTriNoWriMo?

Natrino Wrimo sounds like a good name for a Star Trek character. Maybe a pink one with purple freckles and iridescent quills.

I’m currently on book five, and I’m making a concerted effort to slow my ass down. I’m in a neck brace, the skin on both my arms is numb, and I’m to the point of my life where I’m seeing more doctors than movies. But my brain has a method, and not a lot of concern for the body’s guff.

Although I went through all the same creative writing training that most writers encountered at some point in their education, I’ve found that, for me, it was mostly useless. I followed the tried and true “outline and plan” method of writing, but it felt contrived. The characters were puppets dancing to rhythm of the plot. They weren’t alive, so the story wasn’t alive. No matter how interesting I tried to make it, it was just polishing a turd.

So, I stopped, and my brain said, “Hold my beer.” (Or in my case, Yoo-Hoo.)

I write from stream of consciousness, and I have no idea what’s going to happen next. I just sit down at the keyboard, and let it come out. I don’t plan. I don’t second guess. I just let the story tell itself, and everything always works out on it’s own.

Now, some would say that, subconsciously, I’m still planning the story, and that I’ve trained myself so well that I do it automatically. Like learning to walk or ride a bike. I could see how that could be true, but that’s not what it feels like. To me, it’s like I’m watching a movie in my head, and I’m just writing down what I see and hear as fast as possible because my brain won’t allow me to see a scene past where I am in the movie. There’s no fast forward button, so if I want to know what happens next, I need to type what happens now.

Sometimes, the things that happen are not what I would have wanted. Sometimes, they’re horrible things, or cruel things, and I worry that there’s some part of my brain that I’d never want to meet in a dark alley. Or even in a brightly lit grocery store.

Sometimes, the things that happen are so funny that I can’t stop laughing, and I wish I could harness that joy in ways that could help others. Maybe people who are in pain the way I am, or who are tired of seeing so much hate and negativity in the world, and need someone to remind them that humor is as much a human language as intolerance.

In the meantime, I’ll keep my nails trimmed, and the coffee flowing, and try to get as much of this out as I can before the doctors confiscate my keyboard. – K

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