Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nano, Nano

You know what I miss about college? I mean besides the keg parties and late night Taco Bell runs and sitting up late nights in coffeehouses having deep conversations about life? I miss my creative writing people. All the people in my creative writing classes who kind of just marched to the beat of their own drummer, who understood me and I understood them in ways even beyond even my closest friends. They were my people. My weird, introverted, creative people.


I also miss my creative writing classes because I was held accountable for my writing. I knew every week I should have five or ten or fifteen new pages written to be critiqued and analyzed and made better, so that at the end I'd have a story. It might be a really shitty story, but a story nonetheless.

I wrote a story about a girl with dad issues. Yawn. And then one about a girl who went a bit crazy. Cliche. But I had tons of ideas and story starts. I filled out notebooks. I didn't even have a computer in college much less my super slim, convenient Chromebook that I have now. I couldn't save things to my Google Drive to access from anywhere. I had to go to the computer lab and drone away with the rest of the undergrads and honestly, the buzzing sound of overhead lights doesn't really get the creative juices flowing.

I wrote a lot of my stories at Java Break in Lawrence, KS. It was (hopefully still is) a 24-hour coffee house that had different rooms filled with smokers and caffeine and people with ideas. I wrote on a yellow legal pad most of the time. I wrote and wrote with a pen. Holy shit, I kind of admire my younger self for having the dedication to do that. Writing even a Christmas card now cramps my hand. I can't imagine how I did that.

When I graduated college, I moved to New York for the same reason that every other wannabe writer moves to New York. To become a writer. I was dedicated to this task and by that time had a laptop and I pounded away on it writing about my New York experiences and then I started a novel. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I typed up enough pages to constitute a book. I left it alone and never edited it and then years later I started reading it and three-fourths of what I had put my blood, sweat and tears into was complete and utter crap.

Learning what I have since then, I need more snappy dialogue, better character development. The kinds of things I look for in the writing I read now. Since then I've written nonstop but nothing that is lengthy and in no way on the great triumph it would be to write a book.

That's where Nano, Nano comes in. I say this in a Mork & Mindy way, obviously, but NaNo(Mo) is National Novel Writing Month which begins in November. What better way to tackle my long lost, but not forgotten dream? I have signed up, not that that means much of anything. It's more to have a support and to commit. But I am going to write a novel in one month, thirty days. 50,000 fucking words. That's what I'm going to do in November.

When I think about it if I took away the multiple times I check Facebook, my email or Twitter and add in the other times I watch reality show or Scandal reruns and substitute writing in there, I could do it.

I mean, I CAN do it.

I am GOING to do it. I'm writing a book. Hopefully, it's worth reading. Hopefully, at the end of November I don't want to burn it. I am going to bind it and set it on my shelf. If it is good, I may try to market it. But let's not get ahead of myself. I have to write it first. Then, edit it. Then, edit it again.

I have October to convince myself this is going to happen no problem. Nano, Nano.

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