I have begun writing my first novel. My friend Judi tells me that each November there is a national challenge of writing a novel in one month. The challenge is that of writing 50,000 words in one month; 1,667 per day toward a new novel. The goal is to complete a first draft, even a messy one; the editing and rewriting can come later.


Why would I do that? For the same reason I began my first Yoga class last Thursday. For the same reason I learn a new German word each day on my iGoogle home page. For the same reason I do Zentangle art. And for the same reason, that in the past, I have learned to do meditation and tai chi, to fly an airplane and a hang glider.

Sometimes it helps to put oneself in the place of a beginner; to do something one knows that one cannot do well at the beginning. Sometimes it helps to challenge oneself to complete a task that seems so daunting at the beginning, one questions one’s sanity. A creative challenge stretches the mind and imagination that can never go back to its original size.

To start at a beginning, a place of innocence, no blame, is being a beginner traveling in a foreign land. These journeys make my life richer, giving me a sense of confidence and mastery. But, the journeys also bring me a sense of humility. For me, these are the journeys into a great sense of awe and appreciation for the abilities of others whose creative work I consume each day and often take for granted.

Judi is a published author who teaches creative writing classes. She is way ahead of me in this venture. I struggle to keep with the daily writing pace. Today is day 6 of the journey. I need only concern myself with today’s goal by writing one sentence at a time, just as Zentangle art is made “one stroke at a time.”

The novel will take care of itself; it will write itself into what form it wants. My place is to stay in my beginner role each day as I sit and write each next sentence as it comes to me.

The goal of this journey is not to win, but to enjoy the experience, and to finish well.

These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati