The Flamingo of Doubt and Going Rogue for NaNoWriMo 2016

People used to pull out their morning paper on the bus; I pull out my phone. The first app to open is Twitter, scanning the feed for local and international news. My Twitter also features some writers I follow, including Chuck Wendig, an author I heard about two years ago from someone during a NaNoWriMo write-in at the Millennium Library. I follow his blog featuring everything from his process to guest posts talking about the process their work took from idea to publication. I look for tips and, most of all, inspiration or a good kick in the ass.

On September 30th, Wendig took to Twitter to once again dealing with an old writer’s enemy, doubt. It’s the foe I know too well, an enemy of not only writers but anyone in this life. The same voice that says ‘give up on writing’ also can say ‘ you’re a shit parent.’ As I don’t have kids, it usually shows up to convince me to either forget writing or not to take a second trip to New York. The latter readers know too well from a Music Monday post.

I have read my share of Tweet storms, those string of tweets linking together like chains, usually have to deal with issues like, oh, someone I sometimes call ‘the angry carrot’, but should be called ‘the orange Voldemort.’  Wendig took on doubt in a series I put together in Storify. The title of this post came from the last tweet in the series:

Has it scuttled the inner critic? No, that pesky thing will always be in my head. It did give it form, one that still cracks me up. This picture either comes from a nature photographer or looks like a hyper-real lawn ornament. The flamingo of self-doubt lives on lawns in front of everyone’s mind palace. I look out my window, see the self-doubting flamingoes in front of my mind palace, then turn away to go to another floor. It doesn’t matter where I go, the flamingoes of doubt are on my lawn, seeming to multiply the more I look. How to subtract them? Each tap of my keyboard makes one go, poof. There’s a time for closer looks and a time to put words down to get those closer looks.

The Twitter series comes as November rolls around for another edition of National Novel Writing Month. It’s an intense challenge to put down 50,000 words before the end of November, and I love it. This year calls for something completely different as I will rebel against writing a novel. Lately, I have scribbled things here and there about my New York trip. Everyone has this story they want to tell, and this trip means more than a voyage. What it means will come out in 50,000 words in a series of essays. NaNo always represented a fresh start, a writer’s New Year so to speak. Unlike my ‘winning’ novel, I will either post here or put it on Wattpad, a community of writers posting everything from Fanfic to serial novels. Poorcate (the handle of a friend of mine) introduced me to the site, and I did set up an account. Naturally, I chickened out or should I say ‘ did a flamingo?’ Maybe that’s the goal of this year’s NaNoWriMo, battle the doubt dragon and render it a flamingo.


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