You know, do you participate in National Novel Writing Month put on by these good folks? I don’t but I have (kinda, sorta) and I appreciate it from a distance. I was reminded of it recently from this post by John Scalzi and like what he has to say about it here.
I did it once. I didn’t do it in November, though. I did it one June, you know, just to see if I could. Then when I stumbled upon a writing group I read a chapter at each meeting until the group broke up. They tell me they didn’t break up based on my readings. In fact, I ran into one of them online recently and they asked me if I’d ever tried to have it published. That was kind on them. I think they were engaged with it and remember it but I also don’t think it’s publishable. That’s okay with me because I have a steady job and while I may have the urge to try writing fiction again, I realized that it’s probably not for me.
I do have to say that up until then I’d written a few things but never really taken the plunge and done anything of length like that before. I had even read a few writing books but the one that really inspired me to sit my butt down and crank something out was this one by the founder of this whole fun and goofy NaNoWriMo thing. He really winds you up and gives you permission to just go for it.
I decided that, being an educator, November was not a good time for it. I don’t remember why it’s a November thing anyway. But I was teaching and while it was fine, it was also missing something for me. So I thought, hey, I have summer’s off. Sort of. I should write a kids book this summer. (I can’t remember which summer that was. 2007?) But the next summer I went off to get my Media Specialist degree and now I’m actually a Media Specialist and I’m happier with my work. And while that one novel was fun to write, I haven’t been inspired to do it again. I know, I know, “Inspiration is for amateurs,” said Chuck Close. And he’s right. Sitting around waiting for inspiration is NOT the way to do any creative work. I think that’s one of the driving forces behind NaNoWriMo. It forces you to just DO IT. As Jane Yolen says, the most important aspect of being a writer is putting your butt in the chair.
But all this talk of writing in November has inspired me to try to at least write a blog post every day for the month. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it but hey, it’s a goal. A modest goal, especially when there are thousands of people out there cranking out 1500-2000 words a day to try to finish a draft of a novel in a month, but a goal nonetheless.
I like blogging. I just don’t do it enough or with enough focus. So I’ll put my butt in this (or some other) chair every day this month and write some blog posts. And yes, I call them blog posts. I don’t call them blogs. I call the entire site a blog. John Scalzi’s blog is called “Whatever.” My blog is called “LibraryJim.” This little thing you’re reading is one post in a collection of many. In recent years I’ve heard or read people say, “Oh, I wrote a blog about what happened today in Congress” or somesuch. The late great Roger Ebert referred to blog posts that way. He’s probably right and I’m probably wrong but that’s what I’m doing anyway.
So how about you? Do you write, or have you written anything other than a blog post? I’d be curious to know.