Ah, the sound of a pen scribbling. The late nights under soft lights with a cup of tea at my side.
Writing is so romantic, isn’t it?
I wish. Replace the pen with a keyboard, and what you’ve got is a headache from the pounding of the keyboard. The tea becomes coffee (it’s stronger), and the late nights spent writing become late nights spent watching television or doing otherwise unproductive stuff.
I love to write, but like most things in life, it’s a love/hate relationship. If I could just write, just let the words flow, it’d be great.
But I’m a self-editor. A big one. I can hardly go a minute without using backspace. In fact, I just used it on that last sentence. And that’s my biggest fault, the biggest thing that has held me back from writing something lengthier than a chapter or two.
So, I’ve been toying with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, which if you do not know, is short for National Novel Writing Month.
I’ve tried in the past. And by “tried,” I mean “failed.” I always start with some grand idea, some grand plan. Four years ago, it was a tie-in to my favorite band’s new album: a story that would follow the beats of each song, one after another, telling the tale of fighters in a worldwide resistance. Three years ago, it was a thriller involving some combination of murder, kidnapping, home invasion, and vigilantism. Two years ago, I participated in Screen Frenzy instead, in April, and tried to write a screenplay for a war story. A year ago, I gave up.
I have an overactive imagination, and that (combined with backspace), kills me. By the time I get to chapter two, I have three new ideas. By chapter three, I have six. And I lose track. It’s like I’ve created my own, modern-day, computerized Cerberus.
So why is this year different?
Who knows that it even will be? Writing a novel is a daunting task. More daunting if you’ve never done it before. But I have all these ideas in my head, and if I don’t get them on paper, I’ll lose them forever. And maybe it’s just me growing up, but the idea of losing those ideas disturbs me more than it ever did.
I’ve had enough of reading other people’s stories (not literally, I still enjoy picking up a great book and will do so until I can read no longer), and I think it’s time I put some of my own out there.
Who knows, maybe by this time next year, I’ll have written a New York Times bestseller, scored a movie deal, and moved into my drug-lord house on the cliffs over Los Angeles.
More likely, I’ll have a modest and terrible novel, but a complete one, and a better sense of my writing ability.
I’ll cross my fingers and toes that it works out that way.