November NanoWriMo and 10 Things Tuesday

reading in bed on a Sunday

I’ve never been much good at joining group projects, so I suppose today makes no exception. I’ve always been one to do things on my own terms, especially, if not always, things that require creativity to flow in my veins instead of blood. NanoWriMo is no exception.

If you did not already know, NanoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. You hole yourself away and expel thousand of words onto a blank screen – characters, romances, murders, love, betrayal, all the juicy little workings of humanity. NanoWriMo is an opportunity to dedicate yourself and say today, now, I will fulfill that creation. Create the first skeleton, as it were.

I first learned about it last year, far too late into the process to join the others, but intrigued to see progress reports pop up over the Internet and happy to see others fleshing their minds into reality. I was craving an opportunity to join, but waiting by the kiddie pool nervously.

I hoped I would be ready the next time around, but I was wrong.

2016 has been a most unusual year for me full of changes and chaos, and unless something changes very soon, I am truly walking in a bone dry creativity graveyard. I haven’t got any novel ideas. Honestly, I don’t even want to write a novel right now, and somehow I feel guilty for it.

Perhaps because I so wanted to be a part of the group, whatever that group was.

The thing is, though, you don’t always get to choose what happens and when. I cannot choose a novel idea just like that, and truthfully, I am currently too wrapped up in work and too ambivalent to care about most things. I need time away from the weirdness that has gripped America by the throat.

wildfox couture vote t-shirt

That does not mean I will forget writing though. No, never. Instead, as a method of healing and crafting, I will upload several creative pieces this November. I have decided to emphasize creative writings in some forms this month, so be on the lookout for creative essays, poems, ten minute creative exercises, word play, and more. To start, I will list 10 things that make me happy, but are not reflective of my current day/week. As in, these are not things I necessarily did recently, only things that are an infinite source of joy, even if they only ever remain in the mind.

The sound of a champagne cork as it goes pop and seeing the smoke drift from the top of the bottle, as if to say, hello, we have been waiting for you to celebrate…. everything.

The appearance of a child’s birthday party in the park in the fall, not summer. When the balloons dance with leaves and children run around in sweaters and towels tied to their necks like a superhero cape.

Cotton candy being handed out to strangers in all colors. A swirl of pink, blue, yellow, and green melting into my mind’s eye as I watch the crowds across the street flock in their Sunday shoes and bouncy dresses.

Said bouncy dresses being worn by several women in a crowd. All different colors, all headed towards a separate destination. Together and alone. Coincidence.

The sound of new shoes being opened up for the first time. The soft brushing away of paper as it slowly says goodbye to the new laces and brings you hope upon hope. Wondering what adventures these shoes will see and if they will first visit coffee shop stained tiles or a carpet of flower petals on the sidewalk in the spring.

The rush a little girl gets when she is first allowed to choose her own shoes, all on her own.

The feeling a little boy gets when he is first allowed to choose his own shoes, all on his own.

The concept of young virgin love first piercing a teenage heart. Backseat kisses. Woodland kisses. That first time she holds his hand as if to say this is what I have waited for all my life. Dollar sodas and hundreds of coffee cups later, and love still has a very special place in her heart. Maybe not with the same young person, but the concept of love being raw and measured in lattes and scoops of ice cream over the course of several years.

When a child tastes candy for the first time, for their first Halloween/Christmas/Easter that they are old enough to do so, and realizing that life is sweeter than they ever could have dreamed. Then, losing that innocence only to rediscover it 20+ years later. Life tastes like honeycrisp apples dipped in caramel and Skittles and your grandmother’s fudge.

The feeling that floods a woman when she gets her first lace smothered, feminine under garment and realizes she is grown up. Of course, she will realize later that she was never truly grown in that moment, but the feeling of being grown is one not to be matched ever again. To embrace your body. To become the essence of femininity. To feel like an adult, though may real adulthood hit you much, much later.

I don’t know if 10 Things Tuesday will be a regular occurrence here. We have already discussed how badly I am at creating by the rules. But I hope to give it at least a semi weekly appearance because really, beautiful thoughts feel wonderful.

Are you good at participating in giant group efforts? What kind of creative exercises do you indulge in regularly? Better yet, give me one beautiful thing in the comments… I’d love to read your imaginations.

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  • Sophie Sierra

    I feel you so much on this, I’m not good at all at participating in group efforts and am 100% with you on wanting to do things my own way. I easily feel suffocated whenever someone makes suggestions and I’m sure I’d be pretty uncommunicative in group environments! I like the freedom and expression doing things on my own accord bring; so glad I have found someone else as like-minded as me on that one 😉

    I’m always thinking how creative and unique a writer you are! It’s wonderful you want to write a novel and I know it will come to you when the time is right. You have such a gift with words and evoking emotions and setting such beautiful, impressionable scenes. I absolutely love 10 Things Tuesday; throughly enjoyed reading this beautiful piece and it just proves the aforementioned! Can’t wait for more creative November pieces, you’re truly talented! <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Firstly, thank you so much. The first time I read this comment I could feel little pangs in my heart. I am glad to find a fellow freedom-craver because feeling like the odd one out is always a little lonely. Now I kind of want to take some of these 10 things and flesh them out into longer stories. We shall see what happens. I really wish I was not wasting 8 hours a day in an office.

  • This list was lovely to read, and I hope it’s a thing again. I’m getting better at group efforts over time, but it’s still a slight source of stress. I’m excited to read what you post for November regardless. I also just realized I wasn’t actually following you in a more direct way. That’s been rectified. I hope November is good to you!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Thank you so much! I hope your November is full of fall magic.

  • Such a lovely list, hoping that we’ll get another addition too someday in the future. Also, I always was intrigued by idea of NanoWriMo but never participated in it 🙂

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      I’m am shooting for another 10 Thing Tuesday next week so stay tuned!

  • rae

    Really lovely post. I have never heard of NanoWriMo before but it sounds like such a wonderful way to motivate creative writers and I love your list here especially the feeling of teenage romance.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Even though you didn’t get to participate this time around, that’s great that you took the time to still flex your creative writing skills 🙂

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Thanks. 🙂

  • I think NaNo is great for a community feeling and it’s really just a way to be creative, so feel free to join! Even if you only write a 1000 words! I think 10 Things Tuesday is a brilliant idea!

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Well, cool then. For this working girl 50 thousand+ feels like moving a mountain lol.

  • My Life As Marina

    I love the look of your blog now, it is so amazing. Also lovely post and 10 things tuesday is such a great idea! Xx

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      Thanks! I will try to do another one not this week, but next week!

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