Well, I've embarked on what may be the most insane journey of my 25 years.
I'm going to write a novel in a month.
Bobby talked me into it. This group (National Novel-Writing Month) apparently has been around for 10 years now. I think I vaguely remember hearing of them before, but I've never really even given any thought to participating until sometime last month when he wanted to know if I'd be interested.
One of my biggest hangups was that I was unsure if I had it in me. I mean, literally, whether I had enough words on one subject in my brain to make a whole 50,000-word novel (that's the NaNoWriMo minimum word-count requirement). For anyone who does not know me, I write and edit for a living. But that's different, because I'm generally pulling sources from interviews, books, the Internet. And basically this book would have to come completely from me.
I'm also sort of shy about sharing my fiction writing. I worry that I can't provide vivid enough details or that my dialogue writing is shoddy.
But with Bobby's encouragement, I'm giving it a shot. I started writing on Sunday, and I've gotten up to about 4,900 words so far. I'm playing catch-up a bit since I started a day late, and I really need to get to about 6,700 words tonight to be on course.
I haven't written fiction in a long time and never during my professional life. I'm finding it's a welcome break from the stuff I write on a daily basis. It lets me stretch myself and express creativity I can't in my job. And, in particular with my subject matter, I feel like I am writing me.
I'm not sure that I can sufficiently describe that, but there's so much me infused in what I'm writing, and so much of my life. I guess it's just really cool to see that all come out in the form of a fiction novel.
I was talking with my co-worker, Carolyn, about it earlier, and I told her that one of my favorite parts about it so far is taking something that happened during my childhood and fictionalizing it, seeing from an adult's eyes the way I perceived it then and imagining the way others involved may have seen it happening. And I guess the same is true of the way I saw myself and the way others saw me. The really interesting thing is that I'm also writing about a woman whose life is much more loosely based on mine, so I'm exploring a lot of my present attitudes and also the way people may perceive me now.
So, yeah, it's really interesting, and if nothing else, I'm rediscovering the joy of writing.
I'm not joking.
4 months ago