Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

And on to 50K

Filed in Memoir, Writing :: November 20, 2011

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, on her porch in Cross Creek, Florida, has decorated twenty years of my refrigerators, bulletin boards, and walls above desks.

She lives in my imagination: solitary, independent, strong, writing.

I look up at her now, as I’ve crossed the forty-thousand-word threshold,  and know it’s finally safe to say that I will finish NaNoWriMo.

I have planned and preached daily writing, but I haven’t always practiced it.

This month I have.  I will have used NaNo to complete a draft of the third version (version, not draft; there have been many, many drafts) of my memoir.

A few thoughts after nineteen consecutive  2,000+/- word days:

  • A focus on word count helps me to write big rather than small, expand scenes, comb my mind for details.  I don’t worry about saying too much–I want to say as much as possible.  I mine the depths and explore the outer limits of my memories.
  • Telling the same story in different ways allows new ideas to rise to the surface, unexpected patterns and threads to emerge.  My desire for completion is stronger than ever, but I also see that  this book has needed to cook–in a crock pot, not a microwave.
  • My perfectionistic internal editor is no match for the fast flow of words. Her day will come on December 1. I tell her that if there is just one good idea or phrase per page, it will have been a good month, and she relaxes.
More after the 50,000 mark.









Filed in Memoir, Writing


  1. wholly jeanne

    i love the distinction you make between “version” and “draft.” i love the way you look at and think about writing. i love that you are not just finishing nano, but finishing it strong and with a product. YES!

  2. Marjory

    Lovely Angela, can’t wait to read it whenever it is ready to be shared. Nanowrimo is quite an experience!