Writing November (and beyond)
Get our your typewriter ribbons, everyone! It’s NaBloPoMo!
NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month, brought to you in 2011 by BlogHer, the folks responsible for the flurry of exciting ads to the right of your screen. Inspired by National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo lets us blogging types in on the fun, for it’s very important that everyone with a computer write themselves crazy for the month of November.
As is typical of everything we do here at Radical HQ, I’m joining a day late. Deal with it.
I love the motivation behind NaNoWriMo, for it recalls the sage advice within Natalie Goldberg’s classic guide Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, a book I’ve had in my possession for 25 years. Drawing from her study of Zen meditation, Goldberg reveals that the secret to being a writer is….
(wait for it)
….to write. Just write! Tap on your typewriter, scratch on your notebook, click on your keyboard. Write.
Some of what we write will be crap. Some will be good. Some will be great. But we’ll never know what will our writing will be like until we write, over and over again.
In 2004, I joined NaNoWriMo for the first time and wrote a novel that was four hundred pages of melodramatic garbage. In 2005, I wrote two-thirds of a novel than was slightly better. In 2006, my friends suggested that I start a blog on MySpace that accidentally led to a paid writing gig, which led to another, and another. I discovered that I love writing nonfiction. The work is better because I enjoy it more. No longer an aspiring Margaret Atwood, today I am an aspiring Joan Didion! (but more on that later)
In November of 2009, I pondered the raft of blog posts, newspaper columns, and essays on my hard drive and wondered if my month might be put to good use in the service of what I’ve come to call The Radical Manuscript. Named after that ancient MySpace blog, it would trace my journey from a quiet riot grrrl to a post-partum depression-addled mom to a feminist activist crusader determined up upend the myth of American “family values” one dirty diaper at a time.
This November, I am thrilled to announce that Medusa’s Muse, an independent press based in Ukiah, California, will be publishing The Radical Housewife: Redefining Family Values for the 21st Century in 2012. Terena Scott is a fellow rad mom who started the press with the same DIY spirit that the creators of NaNoWriMo had back in 1999. I’m very excited about collaborating with Medusa’s Muse to bring this November-inspired project to a bookstore near you.
So what are you waiting for? It’s November 2nd already! Unroll that ribbon, sharpen that pencil, plug in that laptop! Do whatever you need to do–just WRITE!