I am not a writer. Let me explain. I've always loved writing, but I'm not a *writer*, I had fantasies as a kid that I would write a book. No less. In fact I told everyone I'd be an author when I grew up. It is well known that growing up also involves killing dreams. I am not a writer, and do not have a novel in me, I simply do not have a story to tell. I wanted to be wrong, I really did. This November I set out to do Na-No-Wri-Mo: National Novel Writing Month. It sounds rather simple: write 50,000 words in a month. New material, do not continue on a previous novel. I did not have a previous novel to be working on anyway, so I did start fresh. Well I am 36,000 words in and this novel is complete literary trash, no kidding. I have a sort of plot, rather vague and boring, the subplots are mundane if not nonexistent, I add lots of unnecessary description to feel as if my novel is growing, but quite honestly, it's just not. It's bits of writing here in there, hardly any sequence, and not only that, it's very badly written. It would probably be better as a summary. This girl exists. This happens, she does that, it ends. Phew! It ends, thank goodness! Because any reader would simply want it to end, it's that bad. Sure, some interesting things are mentioned, I allude to all sorts of fun things I like, which makes me feel I may as well write a memoir or non-fiction type of book about what I love -or just blog- but not a work of fiction!
Maybe someone should have stopped me. Said something like, "hey kid, you can't write a novel, go do something useful with your life, like getting a job" and killed my motivation, so I would never have started this, because as mean as they would have sounded, they'd have been right to begin with! But maybe I needed this. Maybe I needed to start this and work hard on it, get frustrated and lose sleep to realize I am not made to be writing fiction. Maybe I will learn a lot from this. One, never to try again. Two, that I know some cool words, and maybe I will feel some satisfaction in writing 50,000 words of useless drivel. Ha ha. So now I should probably get back to my 'novel' and try and fluff it up to 50k. That's 14k more words of nonsense. And yes, some say writing is like exercising a muscle and using it helps it get better, but I know I can write. I am writing right now. I write essays for my literature class, I write on my blog, I write letters to friends, I write in my emails. However writing fiction is entirely different. You can keep writing and writing but in the end, if you don't really have good plots or are not great at keeping people interested, you're not a writer. Not a fiction writer. Maybe I am not a good person to ask for advice about such things. Maybe you should ignore all this, if you like writing, go on. Personally, I can see that I am not a novelist, and I care less and less, because I can focus on other things. OK, my childhood dream won't come true, but that's hardly new. When I was a child, I never dreamt about one day having so many interesting friends and a few really good ones, and yet I have that, and would rather keep them than write a novel, because with them comes so much more. Childhood dreams are interesting, some sound cute when four year olds tell you about them, but sometimes what you really get is just that much better, so why would you want to change it? It's not really worse, it's simply different. See, for example, when I was younger I was very imaginative and made up all sorts of fun games, often persuading my older brother to play with me. (For this I had to be flexible, boys will never play girly games, but girls will play boyish games). Well as we got a bit older, he played less and less and I was worried it would happen to me too, and told anyone that would listen that I would NEVER lose my imagination. Around this time, an adult said to me that imagination doesn't die or go away, it simply changes. I was still anxious about all that, it sounded horrid. (I was never a big fan of change anyhow). The inevitable happened, I played less and less, for shorter periods of time, quickly losing interest in the games. Sometimes, this made me feel so upset that I would try and force myself to keep playing. Soon enough, I stopped completely, but now I realize it was all true what they told me. I still have plenty of imagination and creativity, it just comes in a different form.
I used to paint a bit, and sometimes draw, now I write a bit more. I try to write poetry. It's really bad at the moment, but I am hoping it improves. I also like taking photographs and think in a creative way, changing the way my imagination has not made me unhappy, it's just different, and now I do not mind that I had to change. It seems many children have a fear of growing up. I did too, but when it happened, I realized it was not the end of the world. (Just of my innocence...) So back to the whole 'writing a novel' thing: I can't write a novel, I used to want to, but now I have discovered other things, and will focus on that. I will have learnt a great deal during this month, I feel, and that is so much more important than the novel itself, which as I already mentioned, is rather lame. So really, I still 'win'. I will get satisfaction from writing 50k in just a month, I will finally accept the fact that I will not write a novel, and when December rolls around, I will suddenly seem to have more time for class work (rather more important), and maybe it will have motivated me to start working on my poetry again, instead of giving up like a child. So thank you, Na-No-Wri-Mo, and child me, and all those people in my life who somehow keep me sane, as well as whoever told me, when I was a child, that change is not always necessarily a bad thing. I still have the hope of improving my poetry now that I also study it, and I realize now that I am good at other things. I also take comfort in the fact that I CAN write well, even if it is not fiction, and I much doubt that this particular piece of text is well written, but then again, it was written with no planning. (And no editing, I'm too lazy tonight.) One thing I find difficult, though, is not adding smileys after each 'funny' sentence... But anyhow, before I get pulled in to another long ramble, I should also add that I would probably not come to all these conclusion if I lived in a writer's retreat all alone. Besides, everyone knows that to write, you needn't be in such a place, in fact the opposite would be better. As they say, if you want something done, give it to a busy person...
..Does it count if I'm very busy reading and listening to music all the time..?
Probably not, and thanks goodness for that, I'm sure that as much as we hate to admit, we'd all be incredibly bored of doing nothing all the time!