Back off baby: slow down!

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NaNoWriMo day two (see “Jump right in…”): 2,068 words down, 47,932 words to go. And I’ve already learned something about myself, and my writing. I realized that in the not-so-distance past when I’d sit down and compose, I’d navigate from A to Z in a straight shot to arrive at the “good parts” quicker. This hit home as I drove through my neighborhood recently and a vehicle raced up behind my car. Back off baby, I thought, right before the driver swerved around me, only to be forced to stop at a red light. It seems we’re always in a rush to get to the “good parts;” consequently, we oftentimes miss the magic that unfolds during the detours and roundabouts, the hills and the valleys—in life and on the page. As I plunge into this month of writing, I promise to allow myself to slow down, explore new territory (whether planning/plotting or pantsing) and simply tread water for a bit.

When do you need to back off?

Word-of-the-month: circuitous (adj.)




[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

This month I’ve chosen the word circuitous to pick apart.  As much as I read, I have to admit I don’t know that I’ve ever run across it in one of my books and only just heard it in passing.  Pronounced ser-kyoo-i-tuhs, it is an adjective and, according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, means having a circular or winding course; or, not being forthright or direct in language or action.  Synonyms include back road, by way of, complicated, devious, meandering, labyrinth and roundabout.  Antonyms are direct, in line, straight.  Sample sentences may read: The traffic was redirected to a circuitous route through town in order to avoid the holiday parade.  And: According to witnesses, the alleged criminal’s alibi seemed a bit circuitous Personally speaking, my life seems to be taking the circuitous route to Someday, but it sure is scenic along the way.  And I find that the back roads oftentime illumine the path I should have been taking all along.

Where does your life take the roundabout way?