Two novels in November; 100,000 words. 600,000 words since January.
It has been over a year since I decided to write a novel a month for 2012.
And it's hard to believe that it is almost over.
Honestly, I expected to feel more relief than this as the end drew near, as the hurdle of two novels in a month passed and I could see that proverbial light at the end of the wordy tunnel.
But oddly, I am not, not entirely. I am feeling a little wistful, a little melancholy that this is my last month of this marvelous and hard and awesome and hard year. I have met so many amazing people both in person and online, I got to go Write Dangerously, I got to blog for the OLL, I have discovered so much about myself and I have finally put writing as the priority in my life.
To think that this time last year, I had never done more online than to post a few little essays to my personal blog. I never wrote regularly, always trying to squeeze in an hour or two at a coffee shop to jot down ideas in a journal or on my old bulky laptop. And I never, ever, finished anything.
I'm close to really being a writer; I can feel it.
Wanting to be a writer sung me to sleep and woke me up and chased me down in the silence of my car as I drove home at night, scenes and characters rising to me unbidden, like a waking dream whispering that I needed to be doing something else with my life. Reading books I loved by other people hit me like an icicle in the chest, that yarning to do it, to feel the weight of my book, heavy with the ink of my words in my hand one day.
I still wonder what the pages of my first book will smell like; will they be sweet and musty, or sharp with shiny white pages? And for the first time, I actually think I will get to find out one day.
I am making plans for the future. Between here and then is one more novel, and a ton of catching up, a wedding to go to, New Years in New Orleans with irowboat, and many adventures to have between. But I am making plans to be the writer I am becoming. I will enter contests and edit my novels and apply to Clarion West.
And I'm going to keep this blog going for as long as you guys will have me.
But for now, right now, what I really want is for everyone reading this to feel how I am right now someday. I want all of you, no matter who you are or what your passions are, to feel the solidity of accomplishment, the fatigue of perseverance, and the realization that one day you will succeed because you know how, you have learned how, and you keep learning how.
I blog not just for myself, but because I want to use what I am doing to inspire. Nothing makes me happier than when someone tells me they are going to try writing a book because of me, or that they have decided to go back to school, or travel, or whatever. We can make each other better by doing what we love, and wanting others do the same.
I believe that all of us have something that we cannot keep ourselves from doing, whether it's the drive to feed people, to make things, to serve tea, or to catalogue books. Our job is to find whatever it is we can't not do, and to do it, and to be happy doing it.
So whatever it is, whoever you are or wherever you are starting from: this is your time. Think of what you want to do, it need not be so bold as my goal, but bold is my favorite way to be. Just think, feel out what part of your story is ready to be told.
And, in January, start.
Last November, I decided to give myself a year of the life I thought I wanted. I decided it was time to begin. I was so frightened and timid and unsure, but I did it; I started and I kept going and now, I am 50,000 words from triumph. It's an incredible feeling, and it has been the best year of my life so far.
I want that for all of you.
So tell me, what do you want to give yourself a year to do?