I just won this year's NaNoWriMo challenge, and logged in more than fifty-one thousand words for the draft of a novel that I had started way back in 2012. This new draft is way different from the old draft, so different that I think I have basically retained just the names of the characters, but everything that happened has changed. It was a full restart not just a mere revision. In 2012, I barely passed the 50,000-word mark and the novel was essentially complete with a beginning, a middle with a lot of plot holes, and an ending. This year I passed the target and yet the story had only begun. So I am still writing it.
The other thing that I am also writing is a real-life story for myself that is inspired by what I have done way back in 2000. It is a return to traveling, and in a way, also a return to relationships.
Next year I am going to go back to being employed, because it has become so clear to me now what I hope to accomplish -- not in terms of my career, for that is one of the certainties that remain, that I no longer wish to pursue "success" traditionally. What I mean is accomplishment in art and the re-enchantment of the soul. What I mean is a return to love -- through travel, learning, and a more active seeking and participation in the places and communities where the song of my spirit is echoed and reciprocated in joy and welcome.
The going back to employment is simply a means for money. It is easier for me to do this now that I have achieved a level of clarity in my true goals. It was harder before when my sole reason was to pay the bills. But now paying the bills is a mere background to the bigger things. Such as (for starters):
It is always difficult to explain about work. So many people tend to jump to assumptions and conclusions. They even tend to misunderstand the bit about money. They miss the nuance and the art of the whole decision to go back into employment. They simply nod their heads knowingly, thinking they know, thinking I was finally "getting it", when it fact, they were not getting me at all.
The art will not stop. It will not be "on the side". Let me get this straight. Even if I end up in a full-time job, the job is the sideline. I am first and foremost an artist, before I am whatever my title is on the job. I believe that is the crucial difference. And that difference plays into every thing that I do and choose, even the friendships I keep.
My many many thoughts and conversations with myself are all being poured in my journal for the past week. That is another thing that got revived after months of empty pages. Now I cannot keep from writing. I am writing the novel and I am writing in my journal a number of times in a day, and I am writing poems on the side as they spill from the edges of my everyday musings.
All because the old dreams are awake and somehow they are changed and have become new dreams that carry the precious innocence of their old forms while gaining the wisdom from their transformations. Because the old paths are found again and they have grown into new places that require a much more magical self than I used to be. Because I have finally begun to bloom despite the coming of winter.
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I am an artist-in-progress. I started my creative journey in 2012 and have never stopped taking steps since. Always one step at a time. Always moving forward. It has been an increasingly tough and occasionally rewarding road.
Models & Mentors
Emily W. Martin
That Curious Love of Green
The Dainty Squid
The School Of Life
Crafty Fun Kids by Sinead
David Beaver Art
Head Graffiti Studio
News From The Hill
Pretty Odd Peach
The Fiery Redhead
Upward Facing Blog
View From Zany Mountain
What Karen Did Next