Eleventeen billion years ago when I was in high school someone told me I was a really good writer and that I should write a book one day. Then I wrote something that was dark and twisty and friends starting contemplating my sanity and if I needed help.
Needless to say, I stopped writing.
Even though my dad didn’t believe that I needed help and even took my short stories to his college english professor who marked them all up with the best compliments I’d ever gotten at seventeen I still stopped writing.
Characters were born and died in my head a million times since then. Plot lines formed when I daydreamed, as I nursed babies, drove to work, made dinner, folded laundry, and lived life. I let them all die.
Maybe it’s because I’m writing for a living now or because I just have very persistent voices in my head but I’m beginning to feel that pull to come back to my first love, my original love of writing.
creative writing is where it all began. I had amazing teachers in high school who encouraged me to be expressive (Mrs. Dixon, Mrs. Donnelly, Mrs. Grdijan… I’m lookin at you), even when I turned in a 10 page short story that was only supposed to be two in length (sorry about that Mrs. G). It’s what I miss and no matter what I do, I can’t turn off the characters or plots in my head. If this is a precursor to insanity, I don’t know that I ever want to be sane.
So for the first time in eleventeen billion years, I’m going to tackle the biggest creative writing challenge I can think of (I tend to leap then look) by particpating in NaNoWriMo.
(A brief explanation of NaNoWriMo for anyone who isn’t familiar… NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s a chance for all writers to spread those creative wings and attempt to write 50,000 words from November 1st to November 30th. All genres, fiction, nonfiction, memoir… a chance for us to put our ideas down and be accountable. It’s love. It’s mass hysteria and a collective dumping of every creative idea that has built up all year long. I can’t wait…)
Being a part of NaNoWriMo is my way of finding out if I still have that creative spark that I loved and relied on when I was a girl or if it was all in my head to begin with. It’s been a dream…. No, A GOAL of mine to write novel. I wanted to be the author who can make the reader throw a book over the way the story ended then rush over, pick up the book and read it again.
To suggest that I’m excited or nervous is an understatement. Right now it feels like the first day of school, my first kiss, and having my first child all at the same time. I have no idea how to start, if there is a method that I should use, if I should create a schedule, buy stock in chocolate and iced tea to get me through the next month or hole myself away in the bedroom until I’ve pounded out creative genius (or at the very least, reached 50,000 words).
NaNoWriMo newbie here… please be gentle with me.
Oh and if you’re participating too… be my buddy?
I would suggest talking to my cousin. Check my friend list on FB, her name is JT Larson. She is doing exactly this. She has decided she is going to write the stories in her head. And now she’s a published author. She could prob help you out with some info about self starting as a writer. And of course, you can do it. You were born to be a writer. We’ve ALWAYS known that. There was never a doubt in my mind…
Char you’re super sweet! I doubt I could write anything that you wouldn’t like or back me on. OK, well maybe a few things and I will definitely look up your cousin! Right now this is just a way for me to test the waters again. It’s been so long that I don’t even know for sure if I can do it. On the plus side, I found a writer’s group (!!) in Ashland that is also active on NaNoWriMo so I’m hoping to go to a few meetings starting next month.