Order of the Good Write

That Magic Feeling When the Words Flow. A Blog by Debi Rotmil

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Mellow Fruitfulness: An Autumn Pause

NaNoWriMo on the brain. Still can’t write. Searching for clues. I’m the one who tells people to just write, not judge it. Just pour it out and the ball of clay can be whittled down to a story.

But I’m not feeling it. I don’t want that ball of clay to be a mishmash of dried dirt and useless material I can’t carve into the story I want to tell.

The fact it’s a biography about the search for my piano teacher makes it even more difficult.

Fiction is freer, more powerful for the writer. You create a story that never existed. You are in control of where your imagination takes you. There’s hardly any limits.

In biography, you’re dealing with reality, with history and with a human being who left behind a loving family whose memories are very clear. You don’t want to disturb the balance or create a fictional situation unless it’s part of the creative license you acquire that allows you to deepen meaning and human themes.  With fictional flourishes, in the end, you have to show readers that this is just a passage of fancy, and how it connects to the real story.

So, as I sit here and thing of how to start my writing up again (after three days of being writing-less), I try to fill up the tank with art and music.

As I continue to sit and think and fill the well, I listen to the great Allen Toussaint – a true artist who passed away this week. Maybe a little ‘Tipitina and Me’ will get me going.


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5 Ways I’ve Distracted Myself from NaNoWriMo Writing Today:


To any NaNoWriMo writers who come across this blog post – don’t try these at home. Write, write away. Don’t let social media and digital distractions slow you down. I’m already stuck in the rabbit hole and can’t get out. Run! Write! Save yourselves!

Here are the five things I’ve done this morning that have distracted me from writing 1600+ words for NaNoWriMo (note that as of this writing, I’m at 26,303 words, and some of that are lyrics to songs and research material I’ve posted as references I plan on removing during editing.)

1) A YouTube video of dogs playing in a pool at The Lucky Puppy doggy day care in Maybee, Michigan. It’s deemed the “Happiest Place on Earth” and I really needed to see that now since all my dreams of writing something amazing to get me out of my nine to six office day job rut has screeched to a stand still.

2) Twitter, where I’ve been in discussion with another writer about those scammy, cheap online dress shops that show up in AdSense side bars in Facebook that are from overseas and are a rip off.

3) Instagram, where a friend of mine has run into two identical Maltese dogs who wear little tiny bowling shoes on their feet. These dogs happen to belong to my neighbor, and for some reason – seeing dogs look like little dapper bowlers pisses me off.

4) Facebook, where I keep checking up to see if something really interesting has happened in the last five minutes since I last checked it. (Nope. Nothing interesting and I’m still in an argument with a family member which I thought ended last night).

5) Reading some fascinating material sent by the family of the subject whose bio I am writing for NaNoWriMo.  Heart wrenching. Beautiful. The ideas are coming along.

But the kicker is…National Novel Writing Month really makes me want to write so many words in a day that the daily word count makes me sit still and not know where to begin.

I’m wondering if writing a novel in one month is a challenge that squashed my desire to write. Thinking I must write to catch up on lost days feels so daunting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge, but it’s difficult to the point where I’m a little lost in the process.

Is anyone else feeling intimated by the daily word count? Does it stop you from writing?



NaNoWriMo Half Way Point

nanowritmowrite on

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. I was doing well. I really was. The first two days of the month were write-less due to travel, but as the days carried on, I was able to start a novel and catch up – writing an average of 1660 words a day, on my way to the 50,000 words that maketh a novel.

Yet, here’s the deal: I’m stuck. I’m writing the same thing over again just to have a word count. I’m jotting ideas down, but there aren’t enough ideas to build upon. I’ve missed two days of writing, and I’m once again behind track.

It’s not that I’m not writing – it’s that I’m writing so much that it’s becoming a mishmash of the same idea written in different ways.

This is in spite of an already prepared outline.

However, I’m trying not to judge the actual writing. I am pouring out more thoughts and ideas,  putting up the big blob of clay – the mishmash of paragraphs and visuals that come pouring from my imagination. It doesn’t have to make sense right now.  Re-writes and editing is what chisels down the story into the form we  view with the human eye and transforms words into visuals of story. I’m just frustrated with the days that are unproductive.

Undertaking this challenge reminds me a bit of my old Track and Cross Country days in high school. I was determined to tackle the sport of running. Something about it terrified me – standing at the starting blocks, hearing the gun, running my slow ass off – that made me want to do it.  I also loved how running made me feel. The freedom. The effects of good fitness.  The fact I did not have a runners body or form did not deter me.

I came in last on all the events I participated in. Yet, in the end,  I finished them. All of them. There was one time in a Cross Country race when my body grew weak from over training and lack of food. (I was a silly teenager who thought a bottle of water was lunch).  I walked it in –  in tears.  I wasn’t just physically tired, I was emotionally tired of being so determined and dedicated to a sport where I busted my body everyday yet came in last every race while my team mates, who had finished earlier and already had their pants on, cheered for me. Call it pity, but it was really annoying to keep losing when I worked so hard (but not intelligently).

Despite the challenge of writing a book in a month – just finishing is the goal. If it’s not on November 30th, but rather on December 10th – then so be it. At least it’s done. At least the  mound of clay is there to be formed into a story.

So what if you’re team mates have walked through the finish line, pulled on their track pants and gone home. This is your personal challenge.

We’re all individuals just trying to add something good in this world.