Thursday, March 1, 2012

Desultory

When I opened an eyeball Wednesday morning to take a peak through the window to see if it had snowed, it hadn't. Then I saw a few snowflakes falling desultorily, as my mind described it. Then I began to wonder whether anyone had ever in the world used that word in spoken conversation, or is it strictly a literary term? Do I even really know what it means?
des·ul·tory (adj.), des'ul·to'ri·ly (adv.)
adj.  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, as in performing a series of actions, giving one's attention to some subject etc; disconnected; fitful ... 2. digressing from the main subject; random: ...
--Ant 1. methodical, 2. pertinent
The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, The Unabridged Edition
           © Copyright, 1967, 1966 by Random House Inc

(Don't ever say I don't hang on to my books.)

That's what I thought, in general. As I read it, it sounds kinda like a description of this blog. Maybe I should add a tag line to my tag line: "A journey that goes exactly according to plan makes for a dull story . . . My desultory trip through life."

In my own mind, this is intended to be a blog of daily living. My original favorite bloggers are daily bloggers, My Incredibly Unremarkable Life and The Other Side of the Ocean. A blog of daily living should be blogged daily (while avoiding the opus). I started out on track but I've lapsed to spurts of daily bursts. I'm falling short of that "daily" thing. Yes, lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order.

Sigh. Despite good intentions, it's so, so easy to get distracted. Blogger Tami Clayton nails this phenomenon, illustrated with luscious photographs, in "If You Give a Writer a Brownie."  When I absolutely, positively must have a blog finished on a particular day, I might find myself up until three or four in the morning.

It'll sound like I'm digressing here for a moment (desultorizing?), but I think I've tied a couple of things together in my mind. Back in about October of last year I first heard about NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, to take place in November. Writers join up to challenge themselves to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month. The idea is to write full steam ahead, kick off barriers and blocks (like stalling on the perfect sentence), get the creative juices flowing. Editing will come later. There's a lot of encouragement that comes through everyone's parallel efforts in this normally solitary occupation.

I thought at first that this occurs monthly throughout the year, but it turns out that NaNoWriMo happens only in November. Even apart from short notice, that November wasn't good for me. No November will really allow me to devote the necessary time to that kind of effort. I looked at my calendar for the coming year and the clearest of existing obligations was, ta-da, March. I declared my own MyMaWriMo: My March Writing Month. I've written two novels in the past, although neither was published, so I have some notion of the scale of the effort and have had spurts of producing the necessary daily volume.

But I've pondered. Is there a novel lurking in some corner of my brain that's been wanting to escape? Short answer, no. Could I force something? Probably. Do I want to write a novel? I don't think so. I really don't think so. But I do want to, I do love to, write, as I have wanted to and done my entire life. When I attended the "Writing from the Heart" workshop in Essoyes, France, in October, 2010, we explored in depth where our hearts might lead our writing, and at that time, at the end, my feeling was that blogging about the small observations of daily life was what called me.

So my MyMaWriMo has taken a sharp turn. Instead of novel writing, I'm going to try to find a way to organize all the little thoughts that present themselves as something I'd like to blog on. They're presently scattered among notebooks, scraps of paper, backs of envelopes. Of course, I know no way to capture the brilliant passages that are composed while lying in bed at night and which dissipate at the sun's first rays.  I'm doing a free trial on a piece of software for novel-writing that's supposed help in organizing and relating the many elements involved in writing. It's a 30-day trial, so I only tried it for the first time today. We shall see. I don't want to purchase if it doesn't work, but it may not be possible to learn it quickly enough to become helpful within the trial period.

Spurring me on is a comment a friend and regular reader made in an email that she worries a bit about me if I go too long without blogging. So I hope I'll see you soon.


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3 comments:

  1. Fabulous word....I rarely use it. But it could describe my blog as well...and my life at times. Have a great weekend, Lee

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  2. I left a question for you on my blog about your March madness for NaNoWriMo, but this answers it. What matters is that you are writing about what inspires you,so just keep writing and we'll call this SayNo2WriMo.

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  3. Delana, have you ever used it aloud?

    Renee, keep me at it! (You, too. How are your NaNoWriMo revisions going?)

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