I had thought about joining NaNoWriMo a few months back. I figured it would be a way to give myself a deadline and really dedicate time to at least one of those so many stories I intended to write. Fifty thousand words wouldn't be an entire story, but it would be nice to have such a huge dent in something for a change.
Then Denise called me out on Facebook about participating. It was a subtle shaming, but effective. She talks often about the universe speaking to her, and this felt like one of those moments. Enough talking about how I want to write and time to suck it up and get something done.
I had a brief experience years back with NaNo when I was super active on an online writing workshop. I was all stoked to give it a go and thought this would be THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!
And then I got to 2500 words and froze. Completely. Froze. Solid.
It was not a high point in my literary journey.
Trying NaNo again was partially about overcoming that fear of failure. I won't get an entire book out of this, and it may not ever be suitable to be seen by anyone ever, but it's about setting a goal and meeting it and hopefully realizing that I can complete a larger body of work.
All that being said, something amazing has happened since I announced I was signing up for this strange, twisted word gauntlet.
Friends and family have been openly encouraging about this whole crazy scheme. I never thought a day would come where people talk to me about writing like it was a normal thing for me to do with my time. It's the most incredible feeling in the world to have support. Thank you doesn't even cover what I want to say to everyone that has said something to me about not only this project, but about pursuing writing in general.
One of the craziest things was that in the last four days, three different people have offered me book ideas. They all said something similar like "I thought of an idea of a book you could write..."
When did people start to think of me as a writer? It's weird. But amazingly wonderful like unicorns and Christmas lights kind of wonderful. (Sadly, none of said proposed ideas are within my normal scope of things. I'm not clever enough for crime/murder mysteries and you can't say fuck in children's books, so I will have to shelve these ideas for now.)
I never knew what it felt like to feel passionate about a path in life until I let myself decide this was what I wanted to do, not just as a hobby but as a career. One day (in the hopefully not to distant future) I want this to be how I support my family. I love telling stories, crafting characters and tearing them to shreds so I can put them back together as new and improved versions of their former selves. I honestly thought the rest of my life would be a 9 to 5 job for a paycheck with no real excitement for what I did for a living.
Of course I'm jumping ahead and I may never be able to live quite like that, but you guys have made this feel like something important and not just a silly passing phase.
November first was a big day for me. Yes, NaNo launched (and I killed my 2500 word fear), but it was also the day I set into motion a serious plan to make writing a career. Me, the girl who has a hard time choosing which socks to wear each day, has a major plan that extends for months out consisting of writing, editing, querying and all those other scary writer type things that involve focus, determination and a whole lot of luck.
It's the scariest feeling in the world to make this plan.
I was only able to do it because you guys are amazing.
Now I need to go work on that 50,000 word count beast.