NaNoWriMo has helped me get back in the habit of writing a LOT. They suggest 1,667 words per day to reach the goal of 50,000 words for a first draft. So far so good only in terms of word count. This is a quantity over quality exercise and “first draft” is going to be a very loose term for whatever it turns out that I am writing. I am slinging words at the page and not looking back. In some ways, it’s a longer version of Julia Cameron’s Daily Pages in The Artist’s Way. Write like your hair’s on fire. Don’t edit, don’t think about what you’ve written and never go back to fix it. Be a creative great white shark and keep moving forward:
Some sharks, however, have completely lost the ability to breathe by buccal pumping, and these are the sharks that will indeed drown if they stop swimming and ramming water. These sharks are known as obligate ram breathers (or obligate ram ventilators); only about two dozen of the 400 identified shark species are required to maintain this forward swimming motion . These include the great white shark, the mako shark, the salmon shark and the whale shark.
I spent a couple of weeks in Israel and it was an amazing experience that will take some time and reflection. I went with a group and so much was packed in a short time, it will take some sorting out. But it does go back to the previous post on writing tips from the Bible. What about persistence? What can keep you writing? There are many examples: Peter, Jacob, David, the persistent widow in the New Testament etc. We went to Jacob’s Well and 4,000 years after it was dug, could still draw up fresh water. Jacob served 14 years to have the bride he wanted in Genesis 29:13-30. Two chapters later, Jacob details his persistence:
38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. 41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”
It is Jacob in Ch 32 who wrestles with God and receives a new name, Israel, meaning “one who contends with God.” He was not one for easy answers or settling.
Will you continue to move forward? Will you persist?