A Guest Post from ChiWriMo Member Chris Deane

Chris Deane posted a lovely essay series this morning on Facebook.  I asked her if I could post a large excerpt of it, because its clarion call to write is one of the things that NaNo is all about.  We don’t get political here at NaNo, and my intention isn’t to do so; my intention is to share some inspiring words from a valued member of our wrimo community, words that I think all of us need to hear today – whatever place on the political spectrum we occupy. – A. Catherine Noon


A Mom Talks You Down

We have taken the bait. We have been fooled. We have fed our fears, our anxieties, our psyche. Someone has created articles that affirm that it’s us against them. Let me tell you something.

It is just us.

We will get through the next 4 years and we will all be better for it. We will be better informed or I should say we NEED to be better informed by good sources and locally. We will volunteer for the things that inspire us, the things that need to get done that can’t without us. It will get done because we can put all that energy however negative into something worthwhile. We as a country can (sorry about the language) bitch about what is wrong or we can roll up of collective sleeves are start making it right ourselves.

So Hillary didn’t win and Donald did. So what? Do you honestly think that Congress is going to let him do all the things that he said he’s going to do? NO, of course not. If Hillary had won (and I say this for my other friends who would be equally as upset, believe me)–if she had won, do you think everything she wanted to do would go through? OF COURSE NOT, CONGRESS WOULDN’T LET HER.

Our country has checks and balances and frankly they are politicians. They will promise things that they cannot possibly deliver. Oh, they can try. Sometimes they succeed but most of the time, think about it. They change their minds or they negotiate and they (excuse me) piss of their constituents because of some compromise they made. That is how it is. That is how it will be.

We have had a lot of things going on here in Chicago with the Cubs and now the election. I live on the south side with all the city workers and firemen and police. I don’t need to tell you what has been going on just down the street from my church. You have jobs. You have school. If you are me, you have driving to all over the flipping Midwest for auditions and stressed about all the driving and getting lost in spite of your GPS.

We have to live our day to day life filled with the highs of pennant and now the lows of the election. And when I say lows, I mean the dirty, mean spirited, bullying, nasty comments that one politician said against each other and the click bait wants us to say against each other so that we will read their inflammatory articles again and again.

STOP READING THOSE ARTICLES RIGHT NOW. STOP IT. They are not helping you. They are, to put it mildly, upsetting you and keeping you from your goals.

What. Are. Your Goals?

Your goal is to write. Yes, yes, the 50k words. You get a badge. That’s so wonderful. It is. But your goal is to write. It is to create. You have set aside the month of November-Thanksgiving month-because that’s what a single guy in California dreamed up and what a lovely, noble dream it is.

You have these beautiful ideas and you are trying to “write them down on paper.” Maybe you’re still working on those ideas. Maybe this year it’s really hard for you but you still want to try.

Ok. You are going to explain to me how the baloney of this election with the bipolar high of the pennant is going to help you get down those creative, one of a kind ideas. Here’s a hint–they won’t.

Turn off that social media. Turn off the television and if I were you, I’d turn it off for a couple of days. Nothing. Process. Talk a walk in this glorious weather. Sit alone in the park and let your mind unwind itself. I can’t go in your room and take your chargers. You can. That’s your job now.

You have embarked on a journey, like a ship. Like Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl. If something, anything is hold you back, anything superfluous, throw it OUT. Go through your house and take out all the garbage. Order take out today. Pizza, Chinese. Run over to Mariano’s. Give your mind a break and listen to some music. Run a load of laundry like you would on a Saturday morning. The normalcy of these routines will comfort you and remind you that we are going forward.

Write. Write anything. Write your anguish about the outcome of the election. Write about your emotions when the Cubs won and now the Donald has won and how this whole Black Pearl of the month of November has made you seasick from highs and lows of emotions. Write about driving on the Dan Ryan because it all comes back to that-for me, at least. Write. Pour it out. You will feel better because writing always makes you feel better.

Then, you go back to your work in progress, no matter how far you’ve come or how little you have done. You think this is about writing. Well, maybe it is. Nanowrimo is about challenging yourself, it’s about taking chances, it’s about doing something brand spanking new and seeing where it leads because it may be the most anarchistic thing you’ve ever done.

Do it because all that disarray, all that chaos, all that creativity is propelling you forward in other areas of your life. You will be more open to new ideas. You will be more willing to hear other people’s ideas, even if you disagree with them. You will be have a little more sympathy for Stephanie Meyer and be a little happier for her, even if you will never read her work. You will cringe at Associated Press’s lousy writing and you will thrill when you read a beautiful sentence written by Simon Winchester. You joined NaNo to explore writing and to explore your capabilities.

Explore and don’t let the seas toss you around. The ups and downs of those very seas are opening you and are part of the exploration.

So yes, feel sorry for yourself. Process. And GET IN THERE and WRITE because that is what you said you were going to do. It is the 9th already. How much have you written? How much energy are you going to expend towards something that is keeping you from doing what you set out to do? Throw it over board, savvy?

And unload the dishwasher like I told you to last night.


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