November is the National Novel Writing Month. For those who have tried, failed, or succeeded to spin out 50,000 words in a month, you understand what an undertaking it is. For those who haven’t, you probably think the rest of us are a wee bit mad.
Last year was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. I’ve been writing since I was in the first grade, and I had finished close to 12 stories at the beginning of November last year, but I tended to keep what I did a secret. I know I am not alone in my introverted ways as a writer. My writing is personal, a piece of me, and it took the wonder of NaNo and the continued support of my friends to finally embrace this side of me. But not just that. It wasn’t just about embracing, it was about sharing. I had never shared what it was I did. There is no doubt in my mind that without the community of NaNo, the opportunities that came with winning, and the feeling of accomplishment I would still be what I was. Now I can say I am a published author. Self published, but still, near strangers have read my work and that is something I could not have said before.
Now I might be an oddity in the fact that while I do not willing share what I do with others, I know what I do isn’t half bad. I have confidence in my writing. Is there room for improvement? Of course, there always is. Anyone who stops learning has stopped living. But I do know that I have a talent that extends past simply putting words on paper. And so I wait patiently, still writing, always writing, for an opportunity to finally shine. That waiting game is what has prompted me to try furthering my self published works. I said before that I would try and document these struggles. And I tried, but life intervened.
Now, it occurred to me rather belatedly, that what I should write about is not necessarily how to self publish. There are plenty out there who have done this and done it far better than I can. What I’ve decided to share is the process of becoming a writer. If that means self publishing or floating ideas or taking a break and day dreaming, then that is what it means to me. And I hope I can help others who struggle like I did in the shadows find the force that helps you to break through. We all know the stories are in us. We can talk to our characters, feel what they feel, but it is truly another experience to share those thoughts with others. That is what all the fuss is about. So good luck to all of you out there who are trying to find it within them. Just remember we write for the sake of writing. Making a penny on the side is just a bonus.
Having said as much, I have two books out in the world and I’ve decided to try different avenues for each. I will be sharing what I find with the world for what good it does.