Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sigh. Couldn't we all?
It occurred to me as I chuckled at my girls' histronics that maybe I shouldn't laugh...it's fast coming up on NaNoWriMo - National November Write a Book in a Month kickoff. A number of my fellow writers are girding their pens and computers to take part this year. I did NaNoWriMo once. It scared me silly. See? Now you're laughing at me. What was so inherently frightening about writing 2k words a day? I'd never done it. It was outside my comfort zone and I seem to recall indulging in a fit of Big Drama of my own. Fast forward two years to being on deadline – something else I’d never done – ask my beloved husband about my sang-froid. I was calm, composed…you aren’t buying this are you? Okay. I was a total, psychotic nutcase. My family took to speaking slowly, in low, soothing tones whenever I looked up from the keyboard. Sort of like the tone of voice I’d used in the car to quiet wailing felines.
And yet, after a few years of acting school, and lots of years of writing stories, I’ve discovered that I feel most alive when I’m outside my comfort zone. I might be quaking in my tennis shoes. I may have adrenaline burning a hole in my chest from the inside out, but I’m awake and alive. I don’t advocate leaping out of your comfort zone and straight into danger. I don’t recommend becoming an adrenaline junkie. But inching your toe out of your safety zone once in a blue moon clears out the cobwebs. Try writing something that scares you (for me it was a torture scene). You don’t have to share it with anyone, but see if, once you’ve done it and the relief eases, whether you don’t feel just a little bit exhilarated.
The cats? They were exhilarated to be home and let out of their carriers so they could run off and commence snubbing me for betraying their trust.