To write or not to write

As an only child, I often entertained myself with stories in my head (and sometimes out loud) so it was only natural that I would gravitate to books and reading. Since I was a kid I’ve dreamed of one day publishing my own book. Being able to hold a bound copy of my writing, my name splashed across the front, has been this nebulous aspiration that I’ve wanted but never fully followed through on.

In the 5th grade I started writing a Nancy Drew style mystery about myself and my friends; in college I started writing a vampire book (this was the post Twilight years) and I’ve written down countless ideas for stories. But I either hit a moment of writer’s block and give up or I willingly let life get in the way. I’ll readily admit that I love reading to the point of obsession so committing time to writing means I have less time to read and this has been an ongoing struggle. I am my worst enemy when it comes to writing and they always say acknowledging the problem is the first step.

Several months back a great story idea popped into my head, fully formed and more detailed than any idea before. I wanted to get back into writing, I’d found my inspiration again and this time I was going to stick with it. Here’s my other big problem — I love to organize and I’m a bit of a perfectionist. When I start writing, I spend more time trying to write outlines, create character charts, and essentially getting so bogged down in the details that I don’t actually write anything. Then when I do write I spend way too much time re-writing and editing what’s already there. Again I know this about myself.

With November being National Novel Writing Month I thought about joining NaNoWriMo and really buckling down. I don’t think I’m ready for the pressure of a word count and a deadline even though I know there’s no punishment for not finishing by the end of the month. But I’ll punish myself and let doubt and stress get in the way of anything productive. I’m not in a place where I’m ready to reach out to others for motivation, whether that’s a good thing or a bad, it’s just me. I am, however, ready to use the month to inspire and encourage myself to really dig in and WRITE. To help with this, I’m going low-tech by buying a spiral notebook and writing by hand. I know my poor hand and fingers will hate me as writing anything by hand is pretty much non-existent in my life. However, I really think this will help focus me and keep me on track. There will be no Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads to distract me and editing isn’t nearly as easy on paper when space is limited.

I will be participating in NaNoWriMo in spirit and I hope that this time I can get out of my own way.

 

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