Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Joy of Writing

As promised, I said I would write about the joy of writing, so I will.

If you've ever experienced putting words together in a way that perfectly conveys your feelings, then you know the joy of writing.

If you've ever written something that evokes strong emotions, then you have learned how to use the written word to make a connection with another person.

If you've ever made an argument on paper that is so persuasive that it forces another to examine his or her views, then you understand the power of the written word.

If you feel compelled to write even if no one else ever sees your words, simply for the fulfillment it brings to you and you alone, then you are a writer.


It's November 30th and I just uploaded my novel to the NaNoWriMo website. It totals 50,544 words. Yippee! Anyone who completes over 50,000 words is a winner, whether the novel is completely finished or not. I still have a couple of chapters to write to move into the final dramatic conclusion (which is already written!), so I'm almost there.

Of course, after I finish the first draft, I get to start in on the revisions, so there is still a lot of work to do. However, I'm happy to have gotten this far and feel I have ample cause to celebrate. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Follow Your Dreams

I haven't updated my blog for some time. That's because I've been busy completing a project that I began last spring. I'm writing a mystery novel. It's something I have always wanted to do, and so I am finally doing it.

I have a tendency to begin projects and never quite complete them. Some simply must get finished, and somehow I manage to get through them. Others are easier to put off. Writing a novel falls into the latter category for several reasons.

1) It's just plain scary. You're putting something you have created, something that is a part of you out there for the whole world to see - and judge. And they don't call them critics for nothing.

2) It's hard. Let's face it. Writing is hard work. It is all consuming as the characters occupy your mind day and night. You have to sit down in front of a blank page or screen and start writing, even if you haven't got an idea of where you're headed with that scene. You agonize over finding the right word, only to scrap that sentence, paragraph or entire page the next day when you reread your work.

3) It takes a long time. You can't write a novel in a short amount of time. It takes months to plan it out and months to write it and months to rewrite it. Even though I'm writing like the wind for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I began thinking about this book a long time ago, and there will be many edits before the final draft is complete.

4) It may never be published. Book publishing is a business and editors won't buy a book unless they believe it will sell many copies. That makes it harder to break into the business, but it doesn't make the effort of writing the book any less worthwhile.

Next blog - the Joys of Writing a Novel