Nano Lessons: Write Any Story

Digital mash-up art journal page, including photos from billboards in Paris and journal pages.

Digital mash-up art journal page, including photos from billboards in Paris and journal pages.

So I decided that I wanted to expand one of the stories that I'd told the kids when they were little. Document it. Get it on paper. It was a story about dogs that live in Alaska and travel the world on a yacht designing stuffed animals. A few years ago in one solitary writing session I wrote 1,947 words. That was the extent of it. It wasn't a failure, it just didn't turn into anything else.

When my daughters and I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo {National Novel Writing Month, annually in November} it was an easy decision... I’d write the book about dogs! But. Well. The day before the challenge was to begin, I made an abrupt decision to write a story about this world where dreams can be altered. The main character is a dream psychotherapist named Julie.

When it came down to the wire, and truly had the opportunity, I didn’t write the dog story. I wrote a different story. That's my impromptu plot twist.

What is important is to write, not what story you write. If you spend all of your time figuring out what to write, you will not write. Is that a metaphor or something?

I wonder about the nature of motivation. I wonder if, when presented with the time to do something, we don't do something that we thought we wanted to do. We have a few days and a stack of fabrics yet we don't start that mint green and orange quilt. Maybe we fall in love with the *idea* of a project? Maybe we truly don't have time. Or energy. Maybe we are stuck. Don't know what on earth to do. Don't know where to start.

The important thing is to ______ {sketch/paint/doodle/sew/knit/write/design/etc}, not to do a particular ______ {portrait/painting/pattern/quilt/scarf/story/pattern/etc}.

Pick a story {or whatever, a creative project} and work from your imagination or your reality, but get started, OK?

For more Nano Lessons, go to Invent a Story.