30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 6: Breaking the Ritual

LS-NaNoWriMoProgress-11.6.14Where I Wrote: The laundromat down the street. And then, home. I immediately feel bad for not hitting somewhere interesting today, but I’ll explain.

How I Feel About What I Wrote: Fantastic. Today saw the moment where the last piece of the plot fell into place; I now have a full plot for Memory. And, thankfully, it all fit together smoothly (there was only one loose element from an older version of the plot that had to be cut).

The Mood I Brought to the Table: Restless, but ultimately accepting; I wanted to reclaim the West side of Manhattan after yesterday’s fiasco, but there was no denying that I needed to take care of a few things today.

The Experience: I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but I didn’t plan to do any of this. I know that in my first post, I mentioned how I was considering trying daily posts, but I have to reiterate that, until the end of last month, that was only the vaguest of ideas. On October 30th, I found out about NaNoWriMo. On October 31st, I decided to take the challenge. On November 1st, I decided to post about it daily.

So I hope that it’s not surprising to hear that I woke up today, looked at my selection of clothing and realized,

“I don’t… There’s nothing here for me to wear.” And then I stare for a moment and, “Huh.” And I mean “huh” like “weird.” As if my clothes are just supposed to be clean for weeks and weeks (again, the sedentary, stay-at-home lifestyle, folks).

Still, I’m all, “I’ll just go out today, then get up early tomorrow and go out tomorrow too–no big.”

And then I looked out the window. Saw the rain. Sighed. “Fine. You win,” I told… the world, I guess?

Even so, that definitely did not mean I wasn’t writing. But I absolutely was not going to return to Bronx Park or the Barnes & Noble Cafe from Day 1 because Bronx Park would’ve been a total nightmare in the rain and Barnes & Noble didn’t feel worth it.

So where do I write? How do I take care of laundry and not just write at home–definitely the most uninspired possible place. I was not writing at the laundromat–that was for sure. That place is a loud nightmare–they show kids’ shows and music videos at the same time. It’s obnoxiously loud, and if there’s one place I can’t write, it’s somewhere with noi–ohhhhh. Wait. There it is. That’s where I’ll write–somewhere I’ve never written before.

In a loud nightmare, with kids’ shows and music videos playing at the same time. The way I immediately thought of it, I was going to “break the ritual,” as my friend Justine Manzano put it in a guest post on Scarlett Van Dijk’s blog back in September.

The thing is… I wish I could ham up the experience more for you. I wish I could tell you of the pure strife I had to endure to belt out the pages that I wrote there.

But the only difficult thing about it was how quickly my clothes were done. There was a fair bit of me saying, “Really?” incredulously and too loud–at laundry machines–because I couldn’t believe my clothes were already washed and then dried. I do not know if the last five days were enough to change me, but what was once impossible was now so easy that it made me shout at laundry machines. I managed to write a scene introducing my villain before coming home and determinedly finishing up a second scene that I knew I could finish (instead of reflexively putting it off for tomorrow).

I absolutely will get to go out tomorrow–to actually go somewhere and (hopefully) find some place new and amazing for writing; I’ve been restless enough for another win that I have a short list of potential candidates in mind.

But, in some really weird way, today was amazing and empowering for me. I used to be the kind of writer who threw up his hands if he wasn’t writing in total silence.

Now I’m the kind who finds his own silence, even when it seems impossible.

Published by

Louis Santiago

I'm a fantasy writer based in New York. One of my short stories, "Aixa the Hexcaster," was published at Mirror Dance Fantasy. You can read it here: http://www.mirrordancefantasy.com/2016/09/aixa-hexcaster.html.

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