Monday, April 14, 2008

Two days in a row!

Somehow, I'm writing for a second day! I was completely certain that I would either forget about this, or find some reason to blow it off. Instead, here I am! Woot!

Of course, now I have to actually find something to write about.

I'm heading to the NaNoWriMo forums ( and I'm going to use today's prompt to get started - 15 minutes to write about "in search of."

Searching for something can be both an abstract concept and a concrete action. I might need to search for my socks in the morning, or perhaps search for an answer in a textbook. It's not unusual for me to search for the meaning of the random acronyms that my boss comes up with (COAG? BDR? WTF?) I actually enjoy these forms of searching, because it is relatively simple to come up with a solution, in that there usually is a solution. The missing sock must exist somewhere. My boss had something in mind when he strung together three or four letters (although I think it's awfully lazy of him to abbreviate phrases when he doesn't actually have to type them out - it's the girls in transcription who would have to punch out "Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma" instead of "COAG"). These more concrete searches can yield concrete results.

The abstract searches, however, are not so easily finished. Most everyone has done some form of 'soul-searching,' be it over a difficult decision, or revisiting events in the past. Sometimes, the hardest part about this type of search is figuring out what you are truly searching for. Often, you may start out pondering a more superficial topic, and then realize that what you really seek is something far beneath the surface, something that you may not have known you would have to face. It was just over a year ago that I did some serious searching of my own. I had to stop and re-evaluate almost every aspect of my life because I realized that I was about to do something that I really did not want to do. At first, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I didn't want to do it. Once I figured that out, though, more questions came up - why had I wanted to do it in the first place? What were the repercussions of my decision going to be? Was it going to be worth all of the heartache and anger that I was causing others? I literally spent weeks doing almost nothing but searching for answers. I barely ate or slept, mostly just spending my days thinking and worrying about the answers that I might find. In the end, I came up with an answer, and I was happy with it. I think that the only reason I was happy with the answer, however, is that I had spent so much time thinking it over. Searching your heart for answers can be difficult, to say the least, but in the end, it will be worth all of the trouble that you went through.

Of course, there are other types of searching, too, that lay between the abstract and the concrete. I have a coworker who drives me nuts, and I spend a lot of time searching for ways to deal with her. Some of it is very practical - by making up a more structured schedule, I was able to keep our paths from crossing for most of the day. Other results from my search were more self-centered, in that I found ways to calm myself so that I could better respond to her attitudes. I am still searching for the right words to use when I talk to the supervisor about this co-worker, so that I don't sound petty and mean.

I spend a lot of time searching for the right words, although that may not be entirely visible from this blog. These prompts and the whole NaNo concept, to me, are a way to force me to stop searching for the perfect thing to say and just get as close as I can. My NaNovels are crap. Well, no, I take that back. They're not crap. They're first drafts. That's worse than crap. But a first draft is just that - a draft. Once the idea is out, then it can be polished to a bright shine. So that is what I will do now - spew out vast piles of draft, and once I can spew no more, I'll start to make it all look spiffy. Sound good to you?

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