When I was younger I loved to write. I would expand four page story assignments into mini-novels. I once wrote a traveller’s journal about an imaginary trip to Egypt just for the fun of it. Many of my early writing attempts are still tucked away in a drawer, sitting inside a worn out folder that I bought especially to hold them.
I gave up writing back in high school. It wasn’t that I lost the passion for it. I’m not sure that is possible. As Juvenal said “Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing and it becomes chronic in their sick minds.” I gave it up because I felt that I had no talent. There were others who were more skilled and more dedicated then I was, so I left the writing to them. My high school years were sort of difficult (as they are for everyone, I guess). I spent my time trying to make others (usually a boyfriend) happy. There wasn’t much room in my life for writing, and I didn’t really want to open myself up to criticism.
I’m older now, and a little more secure in myself. I still try my best to make others happy, but I’m trying to remember to make myself happy too. My relationships are also a lot more supportive now. quanta has even gone so far as to buy me a notebook computer so I can write in the comfort of the living room, instead of slaving away on my big computer in the computer room. My bookshelves are also full of style guides, dictionaries, books on writing prose, and even a fairly recent edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. So what’s missing? The inspiration. Yeah, I’ve got nothing to write about.
So, to jump start my creative juices, I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Quality doesn’t matter, which is sort of a nice thing. I’m hoping that I can squeeze some words out of myself, and maybe get over my fear of writing. My first step is to create a character, which is the most important part of a novel to me. (Okay, plot is important too.) And conveniently enough, the other week I bought The Writer’s Digest Sourcebook for Building Believable Characters. I’m all set. 😉
If you are interested in my progress, I’ve set up a page. Expect some updates to it once National Novel Writing Month begins.