A young writer struggling to get her words down. The traditional road of pen and paper didn’t work. The new age computer gave her nothing but a headache. Hell, even writing on her forearm like she was back in high school did nothing to get the muse flowing.
The story was there, bubbling away – begging to be told but the messages from her creativity heavy right sided brain were getting lost before it could reach her fingers to get it down. She could hear the voices of her characters, see the scenery, smell the smells of the world in which they lived. She could see the whole story in front of her eyes as if it were a movie. But still, nothing was getting put down.
She tried to become the character. She tried to record the story verbally … only to find out that she made no sense (apparently the messages from her brain to her mouth weren’t working either) and ended up with her being confused and angry. She tried to meditate in hopes that it would just come to her – instead she ended up napping. She tried to talk to people about it, but it ended up the same as when she tried to record it – anger, confusion and a whole lot of head tilting.
Everything she tried, just ended up making her more and more upset and annoyed.
Until suddenly, there was a shining light at the end of the dark cloud caused by writer’s block.
NamoWrimo had finally arrived.
NamoWrimo is a month-long initiative for writers around the word to try and write a whole novel in the month of November. What better way to get the words flowing than with a deadline? She thought to herself.
She went into it the same way she went through life – head first with absolutely no idea, living on coffee and sheer hope with no real expectation. And lo and behold, the words started to flow. Scenes wrote themselves, characters started to take on personalities and a whole new world started to form.
Some days were amazing, other days left her frustrated and banging her head against the keyboard. She mapped and planned and threw caution into the wide world of Microsoft Word. If she came out of this adventure with only a few thousand words, she would consider it a win as a few thousand words was better than the blank space she had before November started.
She ended up breaking her own records. 1000 words here, 5000 words there … 8 cups of coffee in two hours and a buzz that left her dizzy. She made herself laugh, cry and began to develop an emotional attachment to characters that didn’t even exist a few weeks earlier. She connected to fictional people easier than she did with real people. Ideas brewed, back stories were told, and conversation flowed from her finger tips. She felt invincible.
As the 30th loomed closer, a sense of dread overcame her. Could she do this? Could she finish this incredible month on the same high in which she started? She had read over a few of her chapters and cringed. Serious editing would be needed. But it didn’t seem to matter. She had, after all, finally got the story out. But would it be enough? Self-doubt is a horrible feeling for a writer.
Turns out, all she needed was her iPod, a full kettle to keep her going and a few hours of alone time along with a small push in the self-confidence department. The 30th came and went … and she finished with 51,480 words and a brand-new novel.
She had learnt a lot in the wonderful month of November. She discovered how easy the words flowed – once she could get them to cooperate. She realised that self-doubt was the only thing holding her back and she could rise above it. She knew most of the 51,480 words were dribble and basic note form but that was okay. She breathed easier knowing that a first draft can be rubbish, all that matter was having a strong foundation and emotional depth. With those two, she understood that the second and third draft would be easier.
She learnt that she was a writer, a real writer and she could completely kick ass. A small, fun writing initiative had turned into a truly eye-opening experience.
She had done it.
I had done it.
And what an amazing feeling that is.