Not Hearing From Your Writer Friends?

An explanation and apology in 21 haiku

Know a novelist?
If they’re out of touch right now,
There’s a good reason.

It’s NaNoWriMo
(National Novel Writing
Month), so these haiku

Are not exactly
kosher. Trust me, I’m aware,
but cut me some slack.

Because I’m doing
NaNo again this year, which
means 30 days to

Write 50,000
words of an ugly rough draft
of a new novel,

If I can wrangle
those words into the story
that I have in mind.

But it’s not just me.
Half a million writers
Are typing like mad

All over the world.
It’s a shared insanity
That reassures us,

First-time rookies or
Seasoned and published authors,
That it’s possible.

Every single page
Begins in daunting blankness.
First drafts are the clay

From which we sculpt books.
We need raw material
in the form of words.

Someone famous said
there’s nothing much to writing;
just open a vein

And bleed. Which is why
The first words are the hardest,
While our cuts are raw.

But if we push on,
Writing without looking back,
Something will exist

That can be revised.
That’s the part that I enjoy.
Drafting’s the hard part.

It takes a deadline
To push me into action,
So thank you, NaNo.

Meanwhile, to my friends
and family who wonder
why I don’t call back

Or answer your texts,
Or, if we do talk, seem to
have my head elsewhere,

Please don’t take offense.
The characters in my head
Demand attention.

I’ll come up for air
and be decent company
once I’ve hit my word count.

Please have mercy on
me, or writers you may know.
Send us coffee, STAT.