Monday, December 3, 2012

Winding Down and Gearing Up

Well, NaNoWriMo is over and I did complete my 50,000 words.  Is it the world's greatest American novel? Yeah, probably not, but I am glad I stuck to it and finished.  I learned so much about myself, about writing, about why they call it a "process".  I even celebrated into the wee hours of the morning on the 30th with friends who'd also taken up the challenge.  Something about all of us coming together and sharing our frustrations and our triumphs just made the whole experience even more amazing.

Here's the thing about NaNo that I think everyone should take away.  The whole point of this is one great big writing exercise.  It's to get people to commit to writing every day and to get them into the habit of it.  Because, and I know this will sound obvious, writers - write.  I know many of my friends and family have toyed with the idea of being a writer.  I think many of us do as we're going through school and maybe even college.  I know for a while I played with the idea of being an English major with hopes of going into publishing, before my interests turned elsewhere. But they don't write, which goes against the whole idea.  I always considered myself a wanna-be writer. Not a real writer.  But the reality is, I already was writing almost every day, here with this blog.  And maybe nothing I write will ever be published or on the NY Best Sellers list, but I am a writer.  I am a writer because I write.  I think that's the most exciting thing I've learned from all of this.  And I think I'll add it to my list of personal accomplishments.  I am a writer. It will go somewhere under Mother and near Artist.

A lot of my friends who took up this challenge with me, absolutely hate their story.  Hate it.  And that's okay, because after all, this was just a writing exercise.  Now that they got all that rubbish out of the way, they can move onto their next idea, a better idea and just the mere fact of putting 50,000 words to paper has helped them grow as writers and the next piece will be so much better for it.

I on the other hand, love the basic underlying story of my book.  I think it's a good story.  It needs a lot of work, but I'm still happy with most of my characters, happy with how the story came to life, and happy with where it went.  I started this challenge with a vague scene ending, no idea even the name of my main character and certainly no knowledge of what events led up to the ending, so this was a real journey for me and for them.  It was enlightening and frustrating to want my characters to move in one direction only to have them seem to have a mind of their own, taking my story in directions I never anticipated. This process is something I've always mistaken for proof I wasn't a writer.  If I couldn't even get my own darn characters to do what I wanted, what was the point?  But I found through this challenge, that most writers experience this, and it's a joyous thing when your characters take on a life of their own.   And boy did mine ever.  I know of at least one or two characters that never made that leap, and that's something I'll work on.

I've had several people ask when they get to read it, or what do I do with it now.  My plan for right now is to ignore it until after January 1st.  There's a whole lot of holiday to get through first.  However, I think I will go back to it.  There are lots of parts of the book that I love, but so many more parts that I cringe to even think about.  I'll work on those parts, tighten the story up and maybe, just maybe, if I get up enough courage, I'll see if my story will interest a literary agent.  I'm not holding my breath, but I think it's important to follow this as far as it will go.  Who knows what might happen right?

Until then, I took the last 3 days to catch up on some contract work I'd been pushing, and some extra work at my day job that really needed to get done.  We celebrated Bug, Bunny and GG's birthdays and with those finally out of the way, we're ready to focus our attention fully and completely on Christmas.  It seems like this year has just flown by, so I want to see if I can slow things down and really enjoy the holidays this year with my family.

I'm switching gears back to writing here every day.  It's quite a switch from making up your own stories to telling the one of your life.  So far this post alone is a little rough, but I'm sure in a few days, things will get back to normal.  So, start checking back in folks, I promise to get back to attempting to entertaining you with my gibberish.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment