So some of you might be aware that as well as a huge book enthusiasts and binge reader, I’m also an aspiring writer. For as long as I can remember I’ve written stories on just about anything and everything I could. When I was younger, and before I realised that everyone else wasn’t doing the same thing as me each day, I’d write in one of those old school lined notepads (like the one below), and would write pages upon pages, all of which would get filed away in a folder under my bed until the next time I could write.
Mostly it was horrible and to be honest I kept barely any of it, for you see when I was nine and ten I was highly influenced by what was around me and not too clear on the concept of plagiarism. I think for a long time I was writing a version of fan fiction without knowing it now that I think about it. Either way, for hours and hours at a time every afternoon and all weekend I would write and live out the stories that were happening in my head on the page. And so my love of the written word developed. I did eventually turn to fan fiction officially while secretly working on more original stuff, so sites like fanfiction.net and fictionpress.com became my best friends. In many ways these sites were a sort of achievable level of writing for me, as a printed book by a published was so far removed from where I was and who I was at the time.
For most of high school I wrote semi-seriously both fan fiction and more original content and then in uni I studied English and Creative Writing, where I eventually ended up completing my degree with Honours in Creative writing. That’s when the words stopped flowing quite so easily for me.
Prior to this point, I’d write whatever the hell I felt like and I’d write as much as I possibly could. All the time. Since then I’ve had trouble finishing anything due to other commitments and work. I started NANO most November’s with the intention of hitting out 50 thousand words in a month, only to actually complete the damn thing one year; ironically this was the year my family went road tripping around rural Australia and while I may have written over 50 thousand words in 30 days, the story was no where near finished. It still isn’t despite my best efforts. Then last year I told myself I was going to take my writing seriously and that meant getting the many story ideas and character voices in my head down on the page. I signed up to Romance Writers Of Australia on the advice of some published authors I know and attended my first ever writing conference last year. I left feeling extremely inspired, but short on time and so writing lost out once more.
Last month I decided this wasn’t good enough and I was going to secretly undertake my own personal NANO in June. I had no intentions of telling anyone that I was challenging myself to write 50 thousand words in 30 days because then I couldn’t be accountable if I didn’t make it yet again. Well, then I told two of my writing and blogging friends Amy from Lost In A Good Book and Rochelle from Inside My Words. The later informed my that RWA was running a 50K in 30 Days challenge this month and together we agreed to be part of it.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because so far I haven’t written anywhere near as much as I needed to for this challenge. And while normally that wouldn’t be so bad; it’s only the first week after all, I can feel myself falling into old patterns and using old excuses like:
No one knows you’ve challenged yourself to it, so it doesn’t matter if you fail.*
Which as you can imagine, is not where I want to be. I’ve also come to recognise recently that I’m afraid of word limits. I’d much rather sit and write as much as I can without thinking about how many words I should be writing or have left to met today’s quota, or how many words I have until this book should be done. It’s a problem I’ve developed over time and one I’m not sure how to fix other than just write uninhabited by the idea of word counts – which is hard to do in a 50K In 30 Days setting!
After the success of my review push via the blog’s facebook page the other week (where I challenged myself to write FIVE reviews in one week), I figured I’d do the same here. For if I tell the world via the internet that I’m doing this, than I become held accountable to it via so many faceless people that I don’t want to let down (despite them not having any input or care into whether I achieve this or not). It’s something that I want to do, and something that I’m using you to help me achieve.
So for the next three weeks, I’ll keep you updated on my writing progress and I will make it to 50k by June 30 or…. I’ll be severely disappointed in myself for failing myself and you all.
Wish me luck!
*Isn’t strictly true. Aside from Amy and Rochelle, one of the guys I work with knows I’m doing it. He also knows I write and has been extremely supportive of my writing for a couple of years know (he’s told me that he has to be mentioned in my dedication if I ever do manage to get published one day). Each and every single day at work he asks how my writing is going and if I say I haven’t gotten any further, he gives me this look that says ‘you better get on it then!’ What’s more, no matter if anyone else knows it or not, I’ll know that I failed once more and that’s just not good enough for me right now.