There is no better way to understand good stories & the elements that make them so breath-taking, than to attempt to write one yourself. Starting tomorrow I will be attempting my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). That’s right – I will be writing 50,000 words of fiction in 31 days. Call me crazy.
I have always been an “unabashed novel-reader” since as long as I can remember. I was the child that had to have her book physically pried from her white-knuckle grip at the dinner table. I also remember writing a few creative short stories throughout middle school & high school but nothing too memorable. In college, I pursued science (Biology specifically) and took very few writing classes – although the one Brit Lit course I took stands out as one of my favorites (I fell in LOVE with Bleak House)! I loved the idea of putting words together on a page & making people feel something or change the way they think or tell a story so compelling that people would still be thinking about it days after finishing the book.
I love this quote because her words definitely have resonated with me at different seasons in my life: If someday I can, through just the right combination of words, make someone feel the way some of my favorite authors have made me feel, I will consider my life successful.
When I first heard of NaNoWriMo I thought it was an adventurous idea, but not something that I was interested in. After thinking about it for a few weeks, browsing the website, & finally getting a book** completely devoted to “writing a novel in 30 days” – my excitement was growing. I could DO this! Since then I have spent quite a bit of time “getting pumped up”, but not nearly as much time doing any actual, constructive, brainstorming. So now, with one day left before the challenge begins – I let all the ideas/dreams/characters/conflicts/sights & smells roll around in my head & hope something comes out that I don’t immediately want to incinerate on December 1st. 🙂
Regardless of what I write or how well I write it, I look forward to the creative challenge of getting 1,600 words on the page per day. With all those words I have to end up with something in there that’s beautiful, right?
**In case you’re considering the challenge for yourself or just want some resources for your own creative word-smithing, I’ve enjoyed “Bird by Bird” & “A Writer’s Workbook” – they’ve been jewels in preparation of this month & I’m sure I will come back to them again & again!