Tuesday, November 3, 2015

#DigiWriMo Kicking It Off

In thinking about Digital Writing Month, this is the space where I need to innovate and be creative. And it was terrifying. Often writing is so filled with conventions and focused areas of format that we don't think about creativity in form and delivery. To be honest, I don't think genre-based writing helps that because that is about form and what people expect.

It was with this uncertainty that I looked out to the community of smart writers who are in the #DigiWriMo community to find some inspiration. And it is here that I found some people who think in ways that I admire and need to emulate. It is among these communities and within these challenges that I think we can be inspired and focused. We might not be able to sustain a year of intense writing because of the world around us, but I can certainly work like a dog for a few weeks. In the end, the results and inspirations will outweigh the hard work and long hours.

All my life I've wanted to be a writer, and teaching writing always seemed like a connective important way to live this working model. And teaching has been a significant element to better writing and connecting with other writers. In the end, the hardest work is the most significant work. The hardest part of writing is still the writing. Not because it is harder or more complex (although I like that challenge), but that the important elements of writing and getting better at writing are cast aside to in the art of teaching. I always wonder if Wallace Stevens had it right as an insurance saleman working, working the nine to five schedule - and writing on the boundaries of that life.

Now, being a bit older (mid forties), I feel the increasing urgency to just spend all my free time writing and writing and writing. Not because I running out of time, but I've finally come to a place where my ability (which was lacking in my twenties), and my experience are finally converging and working. It is not easy to be a writer, it is not easy being a teacher. To bring those two ideas together is to be something complex, determined, and questing for knowledge. That is what drew me into #Rhizo15 was the purposeful examination of new ways to think, write, learn, and connect to other people. Now, looking at how that might work in digital writing - it feels like my life on paper keeps aligning itself more accurately and precisely to what Annie Dillard explained as the writing life.

Declaration of a Writer for DigiWriMo
My writing goals for this month is ambitious, but that is where I tend to find inspiration. 1) I have an academic manuscript that needs to be fostered along. Everything is there and I need to work on it like it is a thesis that is due in December. 2) Write an opener for a novel. I have a great story to write, but I have been terribly stuck on a few things. I want a twenty-page opener that works for me. 3) Lastly, I would like to consider creativity, connectivity, and the community of thinkers in the DigiWriMo community. I want to think about new ways to consider texts and connections. It is here that I want to respond, connect and contribute to that important element of my work. 


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