Lima Al-Azzeh

Reflections on the Eve of the 3 Day Novel Contest

In Vancouver Events on September 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

3-Day Novel Contest

Like an ambitious but shy fellow who is introduced for the first time to the Godfather, or a young man from the provinces at his first Parisian soirée; like a besotted admirer who encounters his Diva by chance, or a little shoemaker whose gaze meets that of the Princess, or a young author entering the temple of publishing for the first time: like them, I was petrified.” – Muriel Barbery (Gourmet Rhapsody)

I lay in bed following those nondescript globs of light that appear when you suddenly turn off your lamp and your eyes are left to adjust to the encompassing black of night. I was ruminating on the eve of the 3 Day Novel Contest, contemplating what this strange feeling is that has gradually taken over me over the course of the past week.

I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach, something akin to a knot, but not quite a knot. I’ve spent the week avoiding all thought of the event to come. I’ve gone out with friends for dinners and drinks, talked about inconsequential things, and purposely came home too tired to even think about this daunting “novel”.

Alas, tonight the journey begins, at midnight, and at the present moment in time, all I can think to do to determine what this swelling feeling inside me might be, is think of what this feeling is not…

I’ll start with the “happy stuff”. It’s not joy, or excitement. It’s not gleeful anticipation the likes of Christmas morning or one’s birthday. It’s not cosmic realization of my life’s purpose.

Nor is this feeling some of the “sad stuff”. It’s not anxiety, or second guessing. It’s not a crisis of confidence, or one of those onerous feelings that are tantamount to quitting something before you even begin.

What it comes down to, what it really is, as Barbery masterfully articulates, is the feeling of being utterly petrified; not just in the sense of fear but of feeling frozen, numb, vaccuous.

I don’t fear that I’m devoid of talent or commitment. I don’t feel like this is something impossible, something I can’t do. I just fear that what if the time comes, and I’m empty?

The knot is not a knot. It’s a hole.

Dear God, I hope it fills up.

  1. I am JUST NOW having the first murmurs of idea, and I know exactly what you mean. Here’s hoping we’re all zapped with inspiration sometime around midnight, and that it just keeps coming until there’s nothing left around midnight 72 hours later. Good luck!!!

  2. Is it too late to take up praying in every form imaginable to all gods ever subscribed to by any human? Mohammed, Jesus, Vishnu, Buddha … who else is there?

    Good luck to you too! See you on the other side…

  3. You too, hey? Best of luck! I hope to still have a marriage at the end of it. Ha ha ha……ha.

  4. GOOD LUCK! I think this is amazing – I wish I had stumbled upon this earlier and entered 🙂 It’s crazy!

    • Hey Chelle!
      Thanks for stopping by. Lucky for you this is an annual event 😉 There’s walys next year! It was totally crazy, but I’ve never felt more driven in my life. Plus the support I received form family and friends all throughout the three days was overwhelming! Will be posting soon with afterthoughts but have been a little “writed out” for the time being lol.

  5. Lima, you are such a talented writer. Your writing is beautiful and I hope you win the contest!

    • Thank you so much Nicole! They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, in which case your blog rules all 😉 xo

  6. […] Challenge yourself to do things you don’t believe are possible … and then make them […]

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