Yep it’s that time of the year again for many writers and yes aspiring writers. The time where we decide to step up and take on a writing challenge, one in particular that many of us have come to look forward to with bounds of anticipation. Colorfully creative writing spurts of ideas, unimaginable plots, and for many, the true art of throwing writing caution to the wind.
It’s where spell check, run on sentences, and fragments alike are fully welcome at the writing-table. The challenge where quantity wins out for 30 days rather than quality (or for some of us sticklers….both). It’s NanoWriMo time, where for the solid month of November, writers from all walks, paths, and crosses of life, unite in our dedication, partaking of the possibility, and pure love of writing a novel in 30 days or less. The reward of course is the satisfaction deep-set in the art of writing your heart out, regardless of whether or not you cross the deadline at the end of the month. For me it always serves as my “I dare you” moment, challenging my resolve to write everyday, rain or shine, whether I’m in the mood or not.
It’s the challenge where you challenge yourself as a writer, not so much for the glory of writing a best seller (though some clearly have wonderfully accomplished this feat), but more so of holding in high regard, the challenge to commit yourself to making your writing dream or pursuit a reality. So with that being said, it’s time to start brainstorming (if you haven’t already). The time to gather all of your pertinent writing supplies and make pre-arrangements for keeping a supply of your coffee of choice on hand for those late night writing stints. Four days and a wake up to NanoWriMo. Writers I happily ask…..Who’s up for a NanoWriMo dare!!!!!
Some days I just can’t help but look back on this writing journey that I ventured into, initially for leisure, indulging a youthful passion of the arts that captured most of my teen years. Thinking back now I can remember ever so clear the pull that a well written book would hook me into, taking me far away from the sometimes fickle on-goings of teen angst, moodiness, and peer drama. It was during my teen years that I also explored my hand at writing, slightly and privately of course. That was until a class assignment gave birth to the possibility of pursuing something greater one day from my love of reading.
Turning in a sort of rogue freestyle essay, one that I can’t exactly recall the nature, content, or even topic of at the time, only that I had stayed up way too late writing, revising, editing, and yes tweaking each and every detail of, until I finally fell asleep with a proud glow of accomplishment after the final sentence lay penned. A few days later everyone received their graded essays back, but mine had a “See me after class” written in red at the bottom of it. Nervous doesn’t even describe what ran through my mind at seeing those words at that time. But what followed was a shot of unexpected.
Though I had fallen in love with my short literary work, I never dreamed that anyone else would, or even see potential in the scribes of a then shy teen. But hearing the amazed and encouraging words from my English Lit teacher was beyond inspiring for me. Having someone praise my creativity that I truly had no idea that I had and also advise me to pursue writing in my college years ahead was the moment that set me loose on my writing journey. It was more than liberating at that time, it was the day that I opened myself up to embark on this writing journey. Though I have strayed throughout the years, my writing journey is always and has remained a constant in my life. For me, quite simply put, it’s my writer’s life, the untold, still unfolding, yet to be reached destination that I remain hopeful of reaching one day. But until then I’ll faithfully remain on this sometimes rocky, yet always colorfully winding writing path, where the end will serve as the ever fateful vines of my vast new and ever branching writing beginnings.
Being an aspiring writer has always posed far too many questions, challenges, and at times left me plagued and perplexed as to how the true at heart writing souls get their dreams penned and gifted to the world of readers. Usually a timetable is set at some point, where goals and deadlines play an integral role in the make or break success of your work. I know for many of us it starts with a not so simple dream, one that shapes into the reality that we strive to create and share with others. It’s our coveted ideas and the scope of mindset, determination, and passion that we each put behind it that I feel truly defines a mere dream from the possibility of becoming a reality for many writers alike.
But at the end of the day, for me that is, the ultimate truth that will be left behind isn’t about the level of fame, monetary or best seller type creds bestowed to me as a writer. But by whether or not I stand by that initial dream enough to power through any and all of life’s setbacks or obstacles in order to see the reality of the dream take shape. And for this still aspiring writer, I just had to drop a few lines, maybe more so for myself than anything else, as a reminder that my dream, while still ongoing, is very much more than just a dream, but an ongoing reality of MY own making.
Fresh off of my very first Agatha Christie novel I was left floored by just how much I have to learn and perfect to advance in my writing game. Though I was more than familiar with the Great Agatha Christie, I was completely taken and floored by her precision and creativity in the land of mystery and suspense. It was an old school lesson in writing greatness, This was a woman who could capture an audience and wrap them around the finger of any of her tales. Brilliance doesn’t even sum up what I was left with after reading only a few of her classics, I was introduced into just what solidified her as a mystery classic writer. Her heart, soul and, writing Ingenious kept me more than intrigued and borderline hungry in my pursuit as a writer in what makes one an inspiration in the writing craft. Ms. Christie definitely delivered the wow factor in her works and has imprinted on me the importance of leaving behind that spark, if not that little something great foundation to readers and writers yet to come. Definitely a hands down, bow down moment to her as one of the late GREATS!!!!
Time sure does fly. It’s almost hard to believe that the writers frenzy known as NanoWriMo is nearly upon us. I am proud to say that I am three for three in the years that I have entered and at times, though grueling, poured out my writing heart to reach the 50,000 word finish line. My first year I had no idea what I was in for. I was completely unprepared and winded up slaying word after word relentlessly just to reach my goal during that last and final week. No outline. No premise. Not even characters had been created, though I had an inkling of an idea back then of the genre and of course the perfect male centerpiece to swoon over. Other than that my first venture into the land of NanoWriMo was completely a blank slate.
My second year, I was a little better prepared, and of course learned the most important lesson during this writing craze, which was…..editing must be non-existent. Last year, my third year, I started and kept up a surprisingly good pace with my word count, pounding out more on my weekends to make up for falling behind during the week to compensate for the family and day job plight. I was able to finish ahead of schedule and for some reason it was that last trek into Nano that I felt the most rewarded.
The Nano dance is the sweetest tango that writers, both aspiring and published can step to. It’s complete and utter unpolished writing freedom. No rules, no choreography, no conformity, just endless amounts of passion and creativity on overflow. Though I won’t be able to attend this years writing dance, I am so stoked for all the hoopla and the insurmountable writing frenzy that’s about to take over writer’s everywhere. So I’ll leave you with these parting words for all those participating this year….Coffee IS your friend, unleash your writing heart, and most importantly whether you finish or not….Congratulate yourself for catching the writing fever known as NanoWriMo.
With Halloween being literally just around the corner, I couldn’t help but tap into the trend of the Scarefests going on. Only I wanted to take on a slightly different path of the mass fear hysteria etching this October. Not of movies, books, or the likes of your favorite must see zombie TV shows. I wanted to touch on fear in a slightly different capacity. One that doesn’t make you jump or twist your nightmares into panicky sleepless nights, (although it’s a very real possibility for some of us). The fear that I wanted to address is the fear of that project, book, or novel that for one reason or another has left it still sitting idle, chained to the mercy of edits, re-writes, or just as that piece of work that a bout of self-doubt has temporarily placed it on a back burner in the current state of our day-to-day lives.
Now this fear I speak of is unrelenting for many of us. It may be that deep-seated eerie voice in the back of your mind that may be keeping your best efforts from seeing the light of mainstream day. Or maybe it’s that creepy feeling that may plague you, whispering that your work isn’t quite good enough. That maybe your best literary efforts don’t even warrant finishing. Or worse, that your writing isn’t up to par and that your work is destined to fall into the abyss of the never discovered. To many of us aspiring writers this may reek of fright in our personal lives and in reaching out to at least touch on a long sought after goal or dream. But with every nightmare there lies the inevitable. You wake up.
And it is that irrevocable truth that you must hold on to. It is the trust that somewhere along the line, at one time or another, you saw fit to place in your own desires, worth, and confidence in yourself that must overshadow the darkness that permeates this kind of fear. Casting out any and all self-doubt that hampers you in realizing your dreams as a valuable force of a writer must prevail. As writers we do travel a rocky and often times broken path that only our drive and determination can seal and cement along the way to success. And it is this realization and belief in ourselves that should be the light that shatters the mask of self-doubt that sometimes makes us fall prey to this fear. This is simply my earnest plea to hopefully keep the writing torch alive in each of us. So for good measure heed these simple, yet trend powerful words of today. Keep Calm and Stay Strong Against The Writers Fear Of Self Doubt.