Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Writing A Novel - Zen

Zen is defined as the "teaching that contemplation of one's essential nature to the exclusion of all else is the only way of achieving pure enlightenment." A writer's essential nature is to write, sure I know the Zen Buddhists have much deeper essential natures in mind when they are teaching, but today, right now, let's talk about a writer's zen. It happens only one way: with the words.

So much of this month's theme has been devoted to a reiterating theme: just do it. Writing a novel is not easy, it is not always fun, but if you are a writer, or more specifically, if you are a novelist, then you owe it to your essential nature to just do it. As you do it and when you have reached the finish line you will have experienced writing zen.

I have typed one phrase over and over this month: "I am no expert," and this is true. However, I can say this, I have now finished two novels. I have journeyed from the first glimmers of an idea through to the end of a plot.  Today I wrote over 15,000 words in order to complete my first draft of a still untitled work that may go nowhere. It's finished. I reached THE END. I even did it in time to be validated as a "WINNER" of this month's Camp NaNoWriMo.

Right now I am experiencing writing zen. It is beautiful because it is the path to enlightenment. There were many times in this month where I wrote myself into a corner, where I felt blocked and where I thought I had just picked the wrong story to write, but because of two challenges - this A to Z Challenge where I had to face the facts about the art and work behind writing a novel, and my commitment to the CampNaNoWriMo Challenge - I didn't allow myself to give up. I knew at every difficult turn that I was, even then, experiencing the writing zen.

And now, as I sit here reflecting upon the conclusion to my tale, I am still thinking about conflicts I can amp up, characteristics I can add to characters and themes I can enhance. This too, this "I'm never really done" syndrome is also part of the beauty of writing zen.

Embrace it all. 

Write your words, my dear writers. Your readers are waiting, and your essential nature wants to be embraced. Enlightenment awaits us all.

Happy writing! 
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for next month's devotion to reading!!


  1. Lisa Buie-CollardMay 1, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Well, I'm sorry I missed you during the challenge but glad to find you after with the Insecure Writers! Congratulations on 15,000 words and finishing!! I can so relate with all that you said. I've finished, (relatively speaking, lol) five novels (never really done syndrome thing) and published one. The Zen of that is amazing and I can't wait to feel it again, which I hope will be at the end of this month if not sooner. I'm almost to the point of sending my wip out to my editor. I SO need that Zen fix!

  2. You published one! You are my hero!! Someday, someday....

    Good luck with your current WIP and thank you so much for stopping by!