Writing is one of those things that you probably either enjoy or cringe at the thought of. For some people, they can look at a blank screen or page and tense up at the thought of filling it with words, but for others, the clicking of keyboard keys or the scribbling of fountain pen to paper is a sound as enticing as a siren calling to a sailor. Letting words flow from them is as satisfying as taking a bite into the most glorious piece of chocolate cake, it must be done to satisfy their soul.
Sadly, no matter how strong that feeling is to write, the fact is that it’s a flipping hard thing to do. Writing your inner most thoughts and feelings in a journal may be freeing, but putting down a cohesive story that will draw a reader in is one of the toughest things to do in the world. That is why so many writers give up and never finish a project. This has been my story for as long as I can remember, but I’m not going to let that feeling hold me back anymore.
“The first key to writing is to write, not think!” -Finding Forrester (2000)
My Origin Story
I know there is at least one good story in me, even if it’s just my own and I am now bound and determined to get it out of my head and onto the page.
The idea that I was a (potential) writer started back in seventh grade, in Mr. Ferrell’s class. We were reading one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series and at the end we were tasked to write a chapter that would tell another adventure with the characters in the book. I ran with this concept, and by the time I turned in my assignment I had a twenty page chapter written while my fellow students had stories that ranged from one to five pages long. I was stunned to hear that my teacher would be reading each of the chapters we had written in front of the whole class without revealing who the author was. At the end we were all supposed to vote on which story we liked best. I remember him opening up my booklet and reading the words, he really got into my story and even made facial expressions while reading aloud to the class. It was exhilarating! I ended up getting the vote to win, though probably because I was the only one who took the homework so seriously. But that was it, I was hooked. I think it was then that the writing seed was planted.
Sadly, I went on to college and found that journalism wasn’t really what I wanted to do, and for some reason I never came across a creative writing class to fit my schedule, and so my little seed lay dormant inside of me. I even tried out a couple of stories in the last five years or so, but nothing really progressed because I have those doubts all writers do. You know the ones: my story isn’t good enough, there are no original stories so why should I even bother with mine, did I actually think of this plot line or did I get it from some random book I read 10 years ago and don’t remember anything else about?
One of the big reasons I started this blog was to hold myself accountable, and that is exactly what I’m doing. It’s time to write that book, look into places to sell those short stories that are collecting dust on my desktop and reignite my passion for writing even if it is only blogging about my goals and lunches for my kids.
-Complete 25/50/100 blog posts- This may seem like a pretty easy goal to hit for someone who has just committed to blogging, but I think it will help me prove to myself that I can follow through with things. Did you know that the average lifespan of a blog is 3 months? I didn’t either until I started researching how to start this blog. WordPress has a little graveyard in the ether that is collecting long lost forgotten blogs from people just like me. In fact, I think I may have started a blog like over a decade ago on blogspot that is buried beneath code.
-Publish my short story- I have written a short story that I don’t think is terrible, but I’m not sure it’s worth sending out until I have at least two more to make it a short ebook. When I do finish another couple of stories, I’ll edit them up and put them on Amazon to sell, because I think I’ll just feel better knowing that they are out there in the world instead of hidden away on my computer.
-Complete NaNoWriMo- If you are a writer or have toyed with the idea of writing a novel at some point in your life then you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo. It’s a shortened version of National Novel Writing Month which happens in November. Basically, you are committing to yourself to sit down and write a 50,000 word novel in one month. That sounds easy enough, right? WRONG! It is so hard to write consistently and November is a tough month, and crap, my story stinks, and… That’s right, it’s a minefield of excuses out there, people. I tried this two years ago and didn’t even commit to sticking with one novel. Oh no, I was working on three or four and just told myself if I wrote some everyday I would consider myself victorious. I made it a week before I gave up. 50,000 words is broken down into 1,167 per day. I didn’t even have to look that up because that number is burned into my brain from my first attempt. This year, I’m doing it. Right now I have three months to outline and brainstorm and then it’s GAME ON!
-Come up with a practical writing routine- This will help me in all avenues, but especially for blogging. Turns out, it’s tough to come up with decent ideas twice a week for infinity. I’m already at my fifth post and wondering what I’ll write about after this post makes its way to my blog. I obviously can’t complete all these goal I set immediately, so I’m going to have to come up with something. It’ll be a surprise for all of us! Whatever happens, I think a writing routine will help me stay consistent and hopefully will generate more ideas. I read that the best way to get the creative juices to flow is to just create. I’ll put that to the test soon enough.
-Finish a book and get it published- I mean, I had to put this one on here, right? What kind of lame category would this be if I didn’t make myself write a book and then get it published. Now, this is going to be a journey in and of itself and I’m excited to live it and then share it with you guys. Not to sound dramatic or anything, but it’s my destiny.
Does anyone else have the writing bug? Have you done anything with it or is it hanging out in the recesses of your brain gnawing at you? I get that, but I’m convinced we can conquer this together. Let me know if you want to participate in National Novel Writing Month with me in November-we can harass each other to get that daily word count.
Did you see my other goals I’m going to crush? Check them out!