Saturday, October 12, 2013

Words are terrifying

As frequent Island readers know, I have a goal this year to be the leading lady of my own life. I decided on this last January in place of resolutions since resolutions are for chumps. Setting goals seems more positive and actually attainable. In July, I posted an update to my quest. That was the approximate halfway mark for the year. I've been making lots of progress in some areas and failing miserably in others. It's hard out there for a leading lady who's always been more of the best friend.

Today is the 80 day mark (there are 80 days until the new year - can you believe that?). I've decided to amend my original list of ways I would quantify my achieving my goal. I am not going to take a class in the next 80 days; I don't have time or more importantly, the inclination. So I've decided to replace this with something that I think will be even more of a challenge and even more of an achievement:

I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for you cool kids out there).

This is both an awesome and terrifying. I think I've always had this idea in the back of my head that I would be a writer. Since starting this blog, it's been more and more in the front of my thoughts but it hasn't been something I've actively been working towards in my life. And of course, my mom thinks I should be a writer. Moms know best.

The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month (November 1-30). Participants keep track of word count and progress through the NatNoWriMo website. The site includes helpful items like pep talks from past participants, tips for avoiding procrastination, and the option to make writing buddies and join into discussions through forums. I feel both intimidated and invigorated by the prospect of writing this novel. I've actually done a lot in my account so far: I have buddies, I created my profile, and I posted to the newbies forum. I have not, however, created my novel.

This is the real challenge: what am I going to write about? Bad Shakespeare is participating for a second year and already has his idea and characters ready to roll. I have two potential ideas and figments of characters. The start of the month is twenty days away. In those twenty days I will finish training my class of new hires, complete 46 hours of client training, travel to Vermont for work, get my haircut, volunteer at the museum, go to the Neko Case concert, make a batch of marshmallows, and finish making my lego purse. These are all things I have the skills to do and I know how to accomplish each one. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to this novel.

And that's exactly why I'm doing this. I like challenging myself and I want to be a better writer. The only way to be a better writer is to you know, write. It could be a horrible novel (and it's a very real possibility that this will be more true than I want to admit) but it could also be amazing. I will not be sharing my entire novel on the Island but I will be providing updates, word counts, and maybe an excerpt or two. Any amount of encouragement would be great and if someone wants to buy me a present, I wouldn't say no to these merit badges. If you're participating, let me know your info and I'll be your writing buddy. You can be mine too - I'm NOLAgirl11 on the NatNoWriMo site.

Finally, I present you with two potential ideas. I can't guarantee either of these will actually be the novel I write but I have to start somewhere.

Idea 1: The Metro Counselor
You know you eavesdrop on other people's conversations on the Metro (or other form of public transportation) and hope that they either stop talking or make a smart life choice. Well, what if that was your job? Instead of just hoping they make a smart life choice, you actually get to help them do so.

Idea 2: Tourist
I have a reoccurring dream about being a tour guide for either a museum or one of those tour companies (like Gray Line). The main character decides to leave her job and become a guide. She ends up in the middle of the cutthroat world of tour guides.


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