So it’s pretty plain that I like to write. I’m a writer. But I don’t like to call myself that. I distance myself from the title not because I’m humble – far from it. I shy away from the title because I haven’t written a novel.
As many writers know, November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org) where aspiring writers from all over try to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It encourages folks to just write and get your words on paper. Write with abandon, don’t edit (that’s for December and beyond!) The words don’t really matter – the word count does – but, in the end, you might have a novel in the making. Something to SELL.
Here’s the problem: I get a great idea, get about 10,000-12,000 words in and I poop out. My idea doesn’t pan out, my thought process gets skewed, my life takes over and I can’t write, or I just get… bored with my topic.
When I went to our writers conference this past Saturday and everyone was talking about their novel, what they have in the works, how to start off your novel, what they might write for NaNo (as it’s commonly referred to) all I could think was: I got nothing.
So I started to freak out and I started to try to conjure up ideas about what I could write about and how I could get my novel going. I brainstormed ideas with my husband and sat in rapt attention during each workshop about how to write fiction trying to glean every morsel of what the process was like and how to get started.
But here’s the thing: I didn’t even have an IDEA. No clue what to write about. Nothing. Nada.
Not a good way to start a novel.
As I was lamenting how this must mean I’m not a real writer, because I don’t have that “burning urge to just get it out on paper”, as one writer put it, I started reading a novel by our featured guest speaker: Jeff Gerke (The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction). One of the very first pages of his book says basically this (in my own words): WHY do you write? If it’s for anything other than to please God and seek His will for your life, then you’re not doing it for the right reasons.
Huh. So I don’t HAVE to write a novel to be a writer? Maybe God wants me to… write BLOGS instead? Or smaller stories? What a concept.
Today, I am a writer. I wrote this blog. It’s not 50,000 words, but I wrote it all.
And that’s a start.