“I thought all writers drank to excess and beat their wives. You know, at one time I think I secretly wanted to be a writer.” – the always enjoyable Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven in The Philadelphia Story
Here, friends, is the truth: I secretly (or not so secretly) want to be a writer.
This itch of mine has been spreading since my first creative writing workshop, which I took my freshman year of college. At that point, I was still a general studies major, which really just meant I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But I’d always loved writing, and throwing my work into the teeth of this group of people for them to rip it apart somehow just felt right to me. I decided to be an English major with a concentration in creative writing, and I took more workshops each year. A workshop is a scary place, but it’s also where all the good stuff happens for your writing, and I grew both technically and creatively in my program. The best experience was probably when I did my final project, which was to submit x number of pages of a cohesive writing portfolio. I had a phenomonal mentor, who understood what I was trying to do and challenged me to stretch myself. I worked on a collection of flash fiction, deeming myself not able to sustain a normal short story, and certainly not the beginnings of a novel.
My tendency to shy away from big writing projects makes this next bit seem strange: I have decided to participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel by the end of November.
Normally, inspiration comes to me in little flashes, a phrase or an image here and there. Plot is definitely not my strong point, and I never had an idea for anything as substantial as a novel until a few weeks ago. But now, I have multiple characters! I have conflict! I have ideas for how my characters will grow and change!
I jumped in yesterday. 30 days, 50,000 words, and (hopefully) a novel at the end of it. Wish me luck. I’m already 3054 pages in!