Thanksgiving break has been nice and relaxing. I got to do most everything I wanted: I went shopping, volunteered at the Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning, worked on drivers' ed, went running, read a bit, took some pictures, and ate a bunch.
There's one thing I didn't really focus on, and that's writing. Uh, NaNoWriMo? Yeah, I kind of gave up on that around Day 13. There are a ton of reasons and they're all sort of entangled in each other. For one thing, writing is hard (understatement of the century). It's hard having to decide each time you sit down where to take the story, hard having to write a plot and characters, hard having to write so much every single day when you have so many other commitments in life that get in the way.
And I guess another part of it is, I let life get in the way. Because I could understand pushing away other commitments to make room for writing if it was my job, my livelihood, my life -- but it isn't. It's something I enjoy very much, but it's not the sole focus of my attention. And right now, I kind of don't want it to be. I want to have real experiences and be around real people, not just live in my head. You know? I still journal my thoughts and musings at the end of most days, and I blog here, but I don't see myself writing a full-length novel right now. There's a balance between observing and participating, and I'm still trying to find it.
There's a Hemingway quote I love that's been circulating the web and I feel like it kind of encompasses a lot of how I feel on this subject:
"The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough."
I love writing, but in order to write, you kind of have to live first. So that's what I'm focusing on.
I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving break, and don't have too much trouble easing back into the routine tomorrow. I just realized we have less than a month of school left in this semester, and a whole week of that is finals, so it's winding down pretty fast. Winter, and Christmas, is on our heels. But today is a glorious fall day, as evidenced by the foliage by the lake. It's still November right now, after all.