This November I wrote a novel- yep, in one month. Well, I am calling it a novel, although really the only things that qualify it as a novel are its length- just over 50,000 words and the fact that it is loosely a piece of fiction- albeit an extremely rough first draft. The genre? I like to call it a self-indulgent, semi autobiographical fictionalised quasi love story- in other words a piece of crapology. But then again, I really shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The achievement was in sticking to a goal for a whole month- and those that know me know that neither commitment nor goal setting are really my forte. And who knows? Maybe one day parts of my effort (tentatively titled Brand New Without Tags) will find their way out of my experiment and into a real live novel.
So why did I put myself through National Novel Writing Month? Mainly because I needed to prove to myself that I could do it- that I could set a daily goal, meet it and actually finish something that I started.
More importantly, from an astro viewpoint I had words inside of me that I just couldn’t get out. The bit between heart and head (ie throat) seems to be permanently blocked in my case. I have no problems at all in getting other people’s messages across, but when it comes to discussing my innermost feelings? No can do.
With the amount of Pisces in my chart, that is not that unusual. Pisces, like all water signs, is very private. But where Scorpio and Cancer can be both protective and mistrustful when it comes to conveying their deeper emotions, with Pisces there is a need to hold onto the dream or the fantasy. To speak it out loud is to make it real and reality can be both confronting and frightening.
To compound this, my Mercury, the planet of communication, is also in Pisces- the sign of both its detriment and fall. In other words, Mercury doesn’t function well in Pisces- it is “mute” in this sign. Further, in my chart Mercury falls in the 12th house- the place we escape to, the area of our self undoing, the secrets in our closet.
This is probably why I choose to express myself in ways which are non verbal- through lines in songs that say what I want to say; this blog (to a certain extent) and now creative writing. By fictionalising a mix of dream, fantasy and reality I have been able to get onto paper (well, sort of paper) things from the last few years that I haven’t been able to deal with or talk about.
Speaking astrologically, with Jupiter (which rules publishing etc) moving through my 12th house, and Progressed Moon in the 8th house where we confront and deal with our fears, there was really no better time to undertake this effort.
It has been cathartic and surprising. Cathartic because I now feel like the shit has been dealt with and banished, and surprising, in that my totally fictional ending was very different to the just as fictional ending I had originally intended to write. All along I had been concentrating on the wrong “hero”, the wrong images and a completely different outcome.
At times during the process the words dried up- as they tend to do when you are trying to write 50,000 of them. At that point I would randomly select something from my favourite playlist and conjure up what that meant for me. Augie March, A Fine Frenzy , Taylor Swift and even The Partridge Family all helped to get the words from heart to keyboard.
They are my words, my feelings, but placed into fictional characters and situations- exactly the way I like to deal with such things. And even though they will never see the light of day, or be read by anyone else, at least not in their current format, my sense of achievement is humungous- I now know that I can write a novel.
And in the words of Michael Buble:
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
And I’m feeling good