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  • Jan Flynn

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.

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