Aaron’s post yesterday made me laugh… and think. Maybe that was Aaron’s intent, maybe it wasn’t, but for me, that was the net result. So what about it specifically made me think? Maybe it was the silliness of the post. By his own admission, Aaron was feeling silly. Why shouldn’t that reveal itself in his writing?
I know we have all touched on the whole “Why we write” thing. Most of us say that we have stories to tell and need to get them out. I think I can include myself in that. But here’s a different question… Should we enjoy writing those stories?
The first novel I wrote took me seven years to complete. Sure, part of it was written for a writing course, but it took SEVEN years to finish. Did I have fun writing it?
In all honesty, the answer must be a little bit of yes, a lot of no and a healthy helping of maybe. It was a LOT of work. There were days when I didn’t want to look at it ever again. It was tedious and stressful but when it was done, I felt fantastic! The satisfaction I felt at that moment (and to a lessor extent still feel) made it all worth while. It was my first book and by finishing it, I learned I could do it and I learned a lot along the way.
Move forward to my first Nanowrimo (2006). I had just finished my first book, but I had a busy month ahead of me without Nano. Could I do 50,000 words? I didn’t know, but I was sure going to find out. Over the next 21 days, I made certain that I wrote every single night. I set aggressive goals for myself and met them. I sometimes even exceeded them.
I had fun.
How was Nano different from my first book project? There were many differences: (1) I knew I could write a novel-length work, (2) I had figured out how to write a book, (3) I was part of a writing community and (4) I wasn’t second-guessing my self by continuously editing the work. I remember writing scenes that brought tears to my eyes and scenes that made me laugh out loud. That was missing in my first book.
And that is why I write. I write to tell a story, yes, but I also write to experience the feelings of the characters. To make worlds that feel real to me (and hopefully to the reader). To dream.
I can readily admit, that my self-challenge of 30 in 30 has allowed that to happen. It has given me a means to bitch about things that bother me, praise things that I admire and dream of a better world. It has been glorious. And that’s what it’s all about for me.
30 in 30 Update
- March 6: The Herd Mentality Words: 815
- March 7: Fellowship Words: 6
- March 8: The Truth about Living Words: 950
- March 9: The Verdict Words: 352
- March 10: What is Reality? Words: 6
- March 11: Surrogate Words: 2,806
- March 12: Water Guns At High Noon Words: 1,061