G is for Grapheme.

gisforgraphemeG is for Grapheme.

I am so kidding!! Well, a little not kidding. Do you know this word? Grapheme? I just learned it. It is a letter (or a symbol similar to a letter) in an alphabet. And in some manner all editing does involve graphemes but that’s not why I’m posting about it.

I’m mid-NaNoWriMo and my brain is in that weird fluctuating state between hyper-lucidity (thank you copious amounts of caffeine and sugar) and hypo-lucidity (complete brain mush from the sugar drop and lack of sleep). I’ve dropped my other two regular writing tasks (the novel-in-revision and the biography) in order to use any spare moments for this month of brand new novel writing, but God help me (yes, it is an actual prayer and I considered it as an alternative post title) I’m having trouble this time. I love the story that’s developing. Lots of nice twisty plot stuff and interesting characters. But I am having trouble sticking with it. I could say it’s my kids, or home, or husband, or life (fill in excuse here _________________), but I think it’s mostly me.

I’m not sure how to combat this other than taking things one grapheme at a time. Plunk a letter down, hope another follows. This is the part of any long-endurance feat I hate. On Kilimanjaro, this was summit day and I was hours from the top. I sat down on a rock and cried. My husband would have chided me if he had the strength between running behind his own rock to vomit or poo– he got quite sick. But we had a guide along, and he (probably so tired of all the versions of me that had come and gone before– or… I’ve always wondered… was I the only person who ever wanted to quit then, do I stick out like the big American baby thumb that I was… I’ll never know) said, “my sister (I love that part about Africa, my brothers and sisters) I would let you sit here and cry, but you cannot. If you stay here, you could die. You need to keep moving. I will help you.” And he did. Pole Pole. One step followed by one breath followed by one walking stick moved forward. And eventually, I saw the summit. Childbirth, half-marathons, novels. These are things I have loved being part of, but wow they take a lot from me. Maybe I need to approach this feat more like I did the physical ones. Proper nutrition, lots of fluids, rest, and training.

Maybe.

Although there is something appealing about writing with chocolate. I’ll have to ponder that some more, with my coffee.

I’m off now. Off to put another grapheme into my novel. Hopefully thousands more.

Are you climbing a mountain right now? How do you keep yourself going when you’re out of oomph?

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6 thoughts on “G is for Grapheme.

  1. Tom Threadgill

    Writing a novel is a lot more work than most people realize. I struggle with it all the time. Any little thing can bump me out of the flow. One thing that helps me is to stop writing in the middle of a paragraph (or even sentence). That way, when I start again all I have to do is finish that thought (which is so much easier than trying to come up with something new). That gets me back in the flow (usually).

    Oh, and Africa? Wonderful wonderful people. Been there four times and have felt so blessed to meet so many friendly folks!

    Reply
    1. dldiener Post author

      I try to stop mid-scene at least, having an idea of what’s coming next. I also don’t stop myself from just plain abandoning a chapter and starting another if I know what’s coming. It’s a first draft after all. This time though, I’m feeling a little “Ten Second Tom” (from 50 first dates [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk7WuvNKe_g]).

      Reply
  2. Lisa E Betz

    Sometime the writing challenge is about trying to keep up with my thoughts. More often it is pushing myself to write one more sentence–which obviously starts with that next grapheme. I will have to try the idea about stopping in the middle of a sentence.

    Reply
    1. dldiener Post author

      It astounds me that something so life-giving for me (writing) can be so hard to do. But, that is not unlike having children, or marriage. Wish I could stop those mid-sentence sometimes. LOL.

      I hope the trick works for you, Lisa. I know it helps me, especially if I have a general idea of how the next part goes.

      Reply
  3. J'nell Ciesielski

    Ugh. I struggle with this one, even more so since becoming a mom. Something about kids just zaps it right out of you. The only thing that really helps me is getting in the shower and letting my mind wander. Eight times out of ten, I’ll come out with the problem solved. Now, they need to invent a shower that does the same thing but without getting you wet.

    Reply
    1. dldiener Post author

      J’nell, in my dream world- I have a ginormous shower with a sunny window (privacy guaranteed of course) that accommodates a waterproof laptop. And it wouldn’t waste water somehow.

      And you’re right about the mom thing. My husband was gone for over a week and I couldn’t hold any creative thought. No energy for it- all wasted on bedtime and dishes and stacks of laundry.

      Reply

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