Pantsing the Blue Moon NaNoWriMo Quest

Blue Moon. That’s the rare second full moon in a month.

Pantsing. That’s what NaNoWriMo calls writing done without an outline. By the seat of your pants. I haven’t gone full pantsing before. It’s a rare thing I do.

I felt a spiritual memoir germinate in me during the summer. I wasn’t sure what that was. I signed up for Write Canada workshops because it was the first time since my brain injury that I could attend a writer’s conference. No crowds to distract me. No TTC to consume my energy and spit me out like so much ripped rage. I could schlep to my computer; wander around for a coffee or chocolate when brain energy flagged. Or I could watch it later if I was unable to sit for the whole thing. Virtual has its rewards.

I also signed up for Write Canada because it had a workshop on spiritual memoir.

By the end of the workshop, I still didn’t have a clear idea of what spiritual memoir is, but I felt more and more mine would start with my earliest memory. Which memory, I wasn’t sure.

I found that out on NaNoWriMo Day One. That’s full on pantsing! Scary yet kind of freeing. Freeing because I get to explore. I don’t know the ending; I don’t know what I’ll write the next day. Yet that’s scary, too. Today, I didn’t know what event in my early childhood to write on next — what event contributed to my spiritual quest, what I’m calling my “Blue Moon Quest.” Minutes before I was to begin my morning writing, it came to me. Phew!

I’m using Prolifiko’s free 7-day writing sprint — they hold one the first week of every month — to ensure I don’t quail at the challenge of pantsing. I figured if I wrote the first seven days, I could keep going the rest of the month . . . aside from the usual soggy middle blues. I look forward to the 7-day writing sprints when Bec and Chris give us work, guidance, tips, and most of all encouragement.

I didn’t schedule my blog posts! But at least I wrote them!!

The sprint community has grown substantially since August, which is kind of cool. I’m also tweeting on my NaNoWriMo progress . . . when I remember!

To add an extra challenge to writing “Blue Moon Quest,” I’m ending each day’s chapter with a poem that sums up what I learnt about myself writing about an event in my life and exploring its meaning and how it played out down the decades. I’ve written three chapters (double-up weekend meant doubling my writing on Sunday, November 1st — first chapter at midnight, second in the afternoon). Each time the poem has spilled out. Hope that keeps up!

Once upon a time
On Halloween night
Just past midnight
The blue moon shone
Upon my roof
Inside I sat
And clacked the keys
Of my keyboard
To write a story
That began my quest
For truth.
NaNoWriMo Blue Moon Screenshot showing four badges from day one and two badges for day two.
Day one badges earned by updating my progress, updating my progress on the first day of my goal, updating more than once in a day, reaching 1,667 words. Day two badges earned by writing two days in a row and reaching 5,000 words. Wow! I can’t believe my start!!
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