I’ve decided to do Camp NaNoWriMo this July, working on the first draft/outline of an ambitious project I’ve been procrastinating about. I thought maybe if I post updates here now and then throughout the month, it may keep me motivated. Or it may not. We’ll see, shall we?
The project I’ve been working on is a combination of family history, personal memoir, creative nonfiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, poetry, and visual art. I think of it as a collage of words and art and ephemera that tells a story based on the flow of history. My family’s story. My story. And I’d even go so far as to say our country’s story.
I’m been researching this project on-and-off for about five years. I decided it’s finally time to sit my behind down in a chair (or on the couch) and actually work up the first draft. Or as Ann Lamott would say, “the sh***y” first draft.
Speaking of Ann Lamott and her fabulous book, Bird by Bird, she says if you have a large overwhelming project (such as a huge catalog of birds), just get started and tackle the project bird-by-bird. So, I’m following her advice and dividing this work into smaller, generational bites. Taking it generation-by-generation. Beginning with Puritans arriving in Plymouth and Scituate in the late 1600s.
This is a sixteen generation story I’m attempting to tell. Seventeen generations if I include my children, but I don’t think I’m going to write them into the story because their stories are still being told as they live their lives. They can write their own stories someday. Or their descendants can. Actually, I may not include any generations still living which would include my dad and myself.
I don’t anticipate getting the entire first draft done this month, but I know I can make a substantial dent in the project if I keep with it.
So, on we go …