So I've completed, in less than a month, NaNoWriMo (which is an event/goal/Writer-supported thingy designed to write a 50K novel in a month).
I had a few rough days (under 1K words), but ultimately I had no problem writing about 2K words a day. Did you read that? I had no problem...which means that I willingly, and enjoyingly (I know, now I think I can make up words!), wrote 50K words in 25 days.
To almost every other person, this is exciting but not surprising. I am a writer, after all, they say. But I guess I thought it would be harder, or I would get bored, or I would succumb to those damn critics along the way. But I didn't. And that means something to me. It means that I will be a writer, no matter what. A decision to be a writer, or a lot of blank books, does not a writer make. I don't have that NPR "writer voice." My wardrobe, writing area, voice/style are not typical of the professional writers I know. I'm extroverted. I like talking. All of these things point away from my very stale and outdated image of a writer. But make no mistake, I am a writer.
Boxes of journals, 10 running blogs (not blogs about running, but blogs that are running), more writing classes under my belt than any other class in my undergrad degree, and when I think, the thoughts come out like they are ready to be written down.
For some reason (okay, I know the reason, and I've been in therapy for years about it), I have been doing what I call, "bad math."
David Sedaris is considered (at least, by me) to be a great writer. I do not write like him, therefore I am not a great writer.
Now, being a writer might mean that math isn't generally a strong suit, but even I know this doesn't add up. And I'm pretty sure if David Sedaris thought there was (or was okay that there was) a slew of people NOT admitting that they want to be writers or that they are already writers, just because he's reached such acclaim, he would probably not like that at all. I know I wouldn't. Just because I am talented, doesn't mean someone else isn't!
So acknowledging that writing 50K words in less than a month is a big deal (my friend had to tell me this, of course, since I thought, "Okay, that's done"). And the book is not bad, even in rough form.
This is the playing big I was talking about in an earlier post. I can't keep NOT writing. I can't keep pretending no one wants to hear what I have to say (that excuse is really silly! So I should stop talking altogether, then?). Someone does. One person (at least) does. That's plenty. If one person liked one sentence of my book, I would be happy. Because, as a reader too, my world has been changed again and again with one sentence. One measly sentence has echoed in my head years after I read the book. That's why I write. That echo, that organization of words on paper, sings in my heart like a well-played song. And I'll hum that song for the rest of my life.
I'll let the rough draft sit a bit, then I'll go back and edit, and then I will begin the process of getting it published. If I wasn't the one who had written it, I'd take it off the shelf and have a look. That says something. I admit I'm scared. Even though this is what I've dreamed of for what seems like forever, I'm scared of the rollercoaster. But I can safely say that I've spent plenty of time not being published, so I should simply try something new.