NaNoWriMo 9: “Keep the channel open”

Yesterday I wrote 3105 words on a book which I tell you not to boast or preen but to let you know that I am desperately pushing to finish revising a novel that is overdue and which I’m almost finally done with.

Partway through the day I wrote some words to a friend.

I said:

You don’t know how your creative work will be received. All you can do is offer up what is present in your imagination.

It’s the choice we make as writers, I think, because I don’t think we have that much “choice” in what is inside us to write. Our individual imaginations are what they are.

Our choices are 1) analyzing those stories and revising/re-visioning them to filter out as many of the prejudices, cliches, defaults, and errors as we can 2) deciding whether we really want to expose our entrails (which is what we always do when we publish: to allow others to share in our creative imaginations is to make ourselves vulnerable).

What, how, and why you create is your path to walk. No one else can give the world what is in your heart and your voice and your experience.

Later I had lovely phone calls with both of my sisters. One, an academic, talked about a colleague of hers who is trying to convince her university to fund a program incorporating the study of fanwork. Yes! Fanwork is steadily infiltrating the academy.

The other sent me this quote that beautifully and brilliantly encapsulates what I was trying to say to my friend:

Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille –

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. 
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. 
The world will not have it. 
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU. 
Keep the channel open.”