I’m a Writer, Damn it!

Okay, the fun’s over, people. There’s work to be done here. No laughing at the back, you hear me? I’ll not have any messing while I give this little talk to you all.

I’ve been sick, all right? Not as sick as some, I grant you – but still, I’ve not been at my best. I’ve been a bit shitty, if I’m to be honest. Sneezing, coughing up a lung or two, running a temperature, quietly putting together a broken heart; the kind of stuff all members of the human race go through in life. I’m no different.

But while I’ve been inactive, I’ve felt that I haven’t been me. I thought I was going mad. Franz Kafka wrote, “A writer who doesn’t write is, admittedly, a monster asking for insanity.” Writing, for me, is therapy. Any kind of writing. God, how I miss writing letters to friends and family. It’s all texts and emails nowadays.

But I digress. I am angry at myself for letting things get to this point. I know we’re allowed to be unwell. At some point we’re allowed to indulge in a little bit of “poor me” thinking, too. The trick is to see it for what it is – and get the hell over it. You see what I’m saying here? Writers write, okay?

W.R.I.T.E.

If you don’t, you’re a fraud. End of story.

In sixteen days’ time, NaNoWriMo kicks off. The thirty days of madness, loved and hated in equal measure by all who’ve taken part in it, is once again upon us. And you know what? I’m going to have another go. Last year I gave up after 13,000 words. Lethargy kicked in and I let it get the better of me. To this day I still get people asking me what happened to the rest of the story. To them I say, I will finish it – but not just yet.

This time around I want to try something new. A friend suggested an outline to me and I liked it so much I decided to take it and throw a different spin on it. For the first time in this writer’s short career, I will attempt to write a comedy adventure. The title of the story is Bucktooth, and if I have my way (and if I do my job properly) it will be a rib-tickling roller-coaster of a ride that homages, of all things, The Blues Brothers and James Bond.

I have a plan, an outline, a list of characters, and a reason to start enjoying my talent again (yes, I believe I have one). 50,000 words over 30 days sounds like a lot, but if I break it down into three sessions (morning, afternoon and evening, 566 words a session), it is more than doable.

Not anyone can do it, but any writer worth his or her salt is duty bound to give it their all. I will, you can bet your life on that.

Will you?

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15 responses to “I’m a Writer, Damn it!

  1. James
    The first time I tried to do NaNoWriMo I failed. It was pretty much like it was with you. I think. See if this fits: I did great for a week. Felt good, wasn’t even too embarrassed by the output. BUT, I believed that if I didn’t do 1667 words a day–preferably in a single sitting–I would fall behind. And that’s what happened. I missed a day. It bummed me out. I got depressed, and in my depression missed a second day. Then? Well, how in the world can you finish if you’re two days behind?

    That was eight years ago. I’ve participated every year since, and I’ve learned a trick or two in the doing. One, don’t shoot for 50k words. Shoot for 100+k words. For one thing, a 50k word novel is a novella. Second, write to exceed the 1667 words a day limit. Write to compete with yourself and your “writing buddies” on the NaNo site. Third, update your wordcount HOURLY. Yeah, that’s a bit excessive, but the fact is, as an acquired taste, you get to the point where you celebrate each jump in word count, no matter how big or small.

    To be fair, my way of doing it certainly won’t work for everyone, but I promise you this, getting into it, staying with it, and celebrating your wins along the way will pay off. Even if you only get 51.42k words, you will still have surpased expectations, and you will have done something very, very special. Something I know YOU can accomplish.

    • That’s great advice, Rik. Writing and updating constantly over the thirty days seems the way to go, all right.

      Your point in not attempting to write a 50,000 word novel is a good one, too. In all fairness, I doubt I could do the story justice with that kind of word length.

      And yes, I know I can do it, too.

  2. Slap that sign on the door and start writing:

    DO NOT DISTURB . . . WRITER AT WORK

  3. Best of luck, James.

  4. Careful, James, you’ll be turning into a Handel. One minute they commission it, the next he’s lost it, writing for his life, not going out, not eating properly, worrying his landlady to shreds and for what? One of the greatest works of art of all time.

    I ask you.

    The book sounds groundbreaking, and me n’ Phil would be the first to pick it off the shelves. Ready, steady…..

  5. All the best, James.
    I’ll be rooting for you and all the others that take part in this fun filled, nail biting, tears, laughs and screams, mammoth adventure!
    You guys who do it are amazing.
    My hat’s off to all of you!

    *#*

  6. Looks like we are all in for a wild ride, been researching my material and think it’s going to be a bunch of fun. Just which I could sit and figure out more of the story before hand – have a great concept and absolutely no ending to speak of!

  7. Richard thats great advise in anything…Don’t look at the mass, break it down into doable projects. A journey begins with a single step. Good luck to you all:) And James you are a writer<3

  8. I’ll wear my Catwoman suit as my cheerleading outfit if you wear the kilt while you’re writing…
    *#*

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