USA :: Montana :: Butte

Notes Notes

about 20 hours ago
Hello Butte!

We are 10-days away from being able to start NANO-2017. We’ve had our first prep meeting and all of us are starting to put a focus on our writing. Some of us are comfortable KNOWING that we are Writers – artistic beings and creators; and some of us are newly awakening to that idea. No matter where we are right now on that sliding scale, we need to embrace our individual creators before November 1.

I found this pep talk by Grant Faulkner from his new book “Pep Talks for Writers - 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo. I hope you take the time to read and understand what Mr. Faulkner is trying to tell you. You are exactly what you think you are!

I BELIEVE in you~

You Don’t Need Permission to be a Creator –

Each year I talk to hundreds of people who have perfected a peculiar and disturbing art form: the art of telling themselves why they can’t jump in and write the novel of their dreams.

“I’ve never taken any classes. I don’t have an MFA.”

“I have lots of ideas for stories, but I’m not a real writer.”

Or worst of all, they say “I’m not the creative type.”

I call this the other syndrome; as in “other people do this but not me.” We’ve all been there, right? We open up the pages of a magazine, and we read the profile of a magnificently coiffed and coiled artistic being – a twirling scarf, moody eyes, locks of hair falling over a pensive brow. We read the witticisms and wisdom the celebrated artistic being dispenses while drinking a bottle of wine with a reporter one afternoon in a charming hamlet in Italy. The artistic being tells of creative challenges and victories achieved, and then drop in an anecdote or two about a conversation with a famous author, a good friend. There is a joke about a movie deal that fell through, then an aside about the one that won an Oscar. There’s talk about a recently published book, which called to them and gave them artistic fulfillment like no other book ever has.

And, as we sit in our house which is so very far from Italy, and we look across the kitchen, over the dishes on the counter, to the cheap bottle of wine from Safeway, and the phone rings with a call from a telemarketer, just as a bill slides off the stack of bills, we tell ourselves, “Other people are writers. Other people get the good fortune to be born with a twirling scarf around their neck. Other people get to traipse through Italy to find a fantastic novel calling them. Other people get to be who they want to be whether it’s through family connections, blessed luck, or natural talent. But that’s not me. That’s other people.”

And you know what, we’re right. The life of an artist is for others – because we just said so, and in saying so, we make it true.

But here’s the rub. Even after negating our creative potential, we’re bound to wake up the next day to the tickle of an idea dancing in the far corners of our mind, a memory that is trying to push the door open, a strange other word that is calling us. We wash those dishes, we pay that stack of bills, we drink that cheap bottle of wine, but we know there’s something else – we know there’s something more.

And there IS something more. There’s the creative life. You don’t need a certificate for it; you don’t need to apply to do it; you don’t even need to ask permission to do it. You just have to claim it. You might not wear scarves in Italy, but you can make your own version of the artistic life, no matter where you live, or what demands of life you face.

It’s not always easy, of course. There will be naysayers, those people who think it’s silly or trivial to be a “creative type,” those who think it’s audacious or pretentious for you to write a novel, those who think you can’t do it because you lack the qualifications. You’ve decided to escape the mire of your creative slough, and sometimes that threatens others. But you’re not embracing your creativity because it is the easy path. You’re doing it because you have something to say. And no one gets to tell you that what you have to say doesn’t matter, because it matters to you.

The arts don’t belong to a chosen few. Quite the opposite: every one of us is chosen to be a creator by virtue of being human. If you’re not convinced of this, just step into any preschool and observe the unbridled creative energy of kids as they immerse themselves in finger painting, telling wild stories, banging on drums and dancing just for the sake of dancing. They’re creative types just because they breathe.

And you are a writer just because you write. There is no other definition. Don’t fall into the common trap of hesitating to call yourself a writer if you haven’t published a book. It can easily happen. Agatha Christie said that even after she had written ten books, she didn’t really consider herself a “bona fide author.” You earn your bona fides each time you pick up a pen and write your story. So start by telling yourself you’re a writer. Then tell the world. Don’t mumble it, be proud of it, because to be a writer takes moxie and verve.

Your task as a human being and as an artist is to find that maker within, to decide that you’re not “other”, you’re a creator. Honor the impetus that bids you write – revere it, bow to it, hug it, bathe in it, and nurture it. That impetus is what makes life meaningful. It’s what makes you, you.

TAKE THE PLEDGE: First, tell yourself, “I am a creator.” Then tell someone else. Tell them you write. Tell them why writing is important to you. You don’t have to tell them your story. Just be proud to call yourself a writer. Practice asserting it.

------- a Pep Talk by Grant Faulkner, 2017

13 days ago

NANO 2017~ Can you tell I'm just a little excited about this? Our FIRST PreNANO Prep session is in 10 days!

OKAY, so this note has a couple purposes:
1) To send you all a big HAPPY WELCOME to the NANO Butte Region. I am thrilled that you are here and there are some fun events lined up for you. Kelsey (K.D.Chase) is my Super Secret Squirrel Ghost ML this year so feel free to direct any questions to her as well -- she is more tech savvy than I am.

2) To give you all the new scoop on the CHANGES that happened to Montana over the summer in the NANOWRIMO land. Jean moved to Oregon over the summer but she PROMISED to be in here in the forum to cheer all of you on and visit. In our world, Buttians can be from anyplace as long as they want to play here.

In this region, the SINGLE goal is to help keep all of you inspired to reach the 50K finish line BEFORE 11/30/17. We are your cheerleaders (waving pom-poms and doing high leg kicks and other cheerish things). We can't do it for you, but we'll be there to celebrate every milestone!

There is very little that compares to the feeling of accomplishment when you hit that 50K mark and know that you did it! It's not an easy feat; and that is why, statistically, only 25% of the people who start will finish. With the right support, encouragement, number of write-in opportunities, and caffeine, we have found that we can boost that number to over 65%. But, wouldn't it be COOL and AMAZING if Butte actually hit 100% in finishing? We'd be legends in the NANO global community.... okay, so maybe I'm a victim of gross exaggeration and I know you've told me eleventy-million times not to exaggerate. But it's hard not to when I'm this excited!

Since MONTANA is the 4th largest geographic state in the union NANO Brainiacs decided to split us up into some smaller bits. That means that there are now several regions in Montana: including one JUST for Butte and SW Montana. That's where you are right now.

So welcome to your NEW HOME REGION. Explore. Converse. Share. Participate. WRITE like you plagiarized it! But mostly come on in and be part of this hectic, frustrating, brain-sucking, inspiring, creativity-boosting, self-motivating challenge. WE KNOW you can do this! We have GREAT FAITH in you!


HUGS to you all!

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Meet your MLs

Debi Hall 0
  • Joined October 24, 2011
  • Role Municipal Liaison
  • Location Butte, MT

About us

It's been said that "Butte is a drinking town with a history problem" and we like it that way. So here we are, rest of the world, come on in and stay a while. We will share a story or two and listen attentively and support you as you write yours.
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