Friday, November 30, 2007

What have we learned?

I feel like I should come up with some sort of summation of my NaBloPoMo experience, as I lunge here for the tape. Finishing has made me oddly contemplative. Several friends who've done NaNo in the past have been asking me for a comparison, and at first blush I'd have to say, of course, that this was "easier." There wasn't a quantitative goal to keep flailing at; I could, and did, occasionally, type a couple surly sentences and stomp away. I'd posted, and that was the only qualifier. Bam, done.

Upon reflection, though...I think that this has mirrored a more "real," or at least realistic, experience of Writing--one I'd kind of lost touch with. I wasn't wrestling with a fictional world, granted; nor was I fighting to stifle an internal censor in the effort to simply rack up words and words and words. Oddly enough, though--on the days when I wasn't tired and snappish--I found myself spilling out little vignettes of my dorky, 70s and 80s childhood, stuff I've long meant to integrate into fiction anyway. Blogging makes me blurty, I find. I've revealed stuff here, the past month, that I don't think I've ever said aloud, mostly because the inner workings of my mind--and most especially my adolescent mind--were too hilariously embarrassing to confess. But here I was, flinging confessions out onto the Internet...deeply, deeply surprised to find that they weren't as humiliating or intimidating as I'd thought. Of all things, the entries that whipped up the most commentary were about my pending high school reunion, and...Girl Scouts. Who'd have thought? Not I. That's been an interesting lesson. I can work with this material, I think.

What other things have I learned? For one, that sweet dear long-ago friends have been reading. It's been a pleasure, to drift back into their lives, too. This Internet, it's a miraculous thing.

And occasionally, a fraught thing: it seems my ex has also discovered the blog. Surprise! Oh, Google, occasionally shooting us in the butt with your arrows of dubious intent. Hello. Sorry I stole the turkey story, bubby; it begged to be done. I hope you're well, and still prod you to keep on writing. Maybe you need a blog. One that shows up should I ever Google you, which I am totally not admitting to one way or the other.

Finally, in all my nostalgic posting about my gawky but not unpleasant childhood, I've felt a dawning amazement that, really...I am the same person. I still have a ridiculous soft spot for show tunes and communal activities that revolve around cookies. I still not-very-secretly covet "fame," in the abstract--I count my page hits and comments and caper about excitedly when they spike. I still am thrilled and flabbergasted to be liked, or loved; somewhere inside me, still, lingers the painfully anxious perfectionist, terrified of rocking the boat, of being spotted in an unflattering light. But those last two conflicting things...I'm getting better at balancing them out. At accepting the love, and absently kicking the self-conscious paralysis back under the bed with the dust rhinos. And writing about it, in fits and starts for the past month, has been a shocking delight.

Thanks for taking the ride with me, y'all.

1 comment:

chicklegirl said...

What a great month--you did it! I feel like I've been getting to know you all over again through your writing, laughing my a$$ off (and that's saying something--it's a rather substantial posterior) at the combination of ascerbic and accessible humor that's been your hallmark as long as I've known you.

It was a great ride. Thank you.