Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weeks Two and Three

I meant to post this over the weekend but it didn't happen. Really, really busy. I mean, you can ask anyone. All I've done is do homework and write since break started. It's ungodly. Also, it's kind of depressing that my dad is in China, so he won't be here for Thanksgiving. We've had a death in the family, unfortunately. I am grateful to have known my grandfather for the little time I did know him, all across the ocean. Like whenever these things happen, I wish I had talked to him more. I miss him. I hope that my grandmother is doing okay. My brother has been having some problems at school. It's been a not-very-good year for my family. So I guess it's kind of selfish that I spend two hours a day holed up writing and another however many hours doing my homework.

I think, though, it gives me the ability to not dwell on the sad things in life. Writing has always been an outlet for me, and I'm grateful that I have one. Some people don't have such a beautiful and rewarding way to express themselves. It gives me routine, a kind of comfort. So, again, I don't like to talk too much about my personal life on my writing blog, but I have an added need to finish NaNoWriMo this year. 

It's the beginning of Week Four. I never, ever thought I would get this far. Week Two and Three were hard. There were times when I thought I wouldn't finish. Really, really wanted to quit. I knew the middle of my story had started to ramble, speed up, slow down, sometimes not make sense at all. I survived on pep talks. I don't know how I would've gotten through without those things. I survived by stalking other people's blue progress bars and thinking, "I can do better than that." I wrote in one huge chunk. I wrote in small pieces. I wrote in the morning, when I woke up, in the afternoon, sometimes (shamefully) when I skipped class, and I wrote into the wee hours of the morning when I drank inordinate amounts of tea. I wrote when I was really inspired, and I wrote when I wanted to throw my laptop out the window.

There was one day around three o'clock in the morning, when I knew no force on earth could get me to write another word. I stopped writing. I took a shower and cried about how shitty my story was, and I went to bed. The next day, I made up for it by writing extra. No more tears for me.

But now that it's Week Four, there is one thing that I know. I will make it to the end. There is no question that I can write 50,000 words in one month. I am not afraid. The number 1,667 does not scare me anymore. I can do that, easy peasy in an hour and fifteen, or lumbering along in three, but either way, I can do that.

Here at the beginning of Week Four, I have fully and completely defined myself as a writer. Maybe there were times I wasn't sure. I wrote, but was I a writer? I wrote sporadically. I wrote well, and I wrote badly. I wrote in notebooks, and I wrote on my hated/beloved MS Word. I wrote fan fiction and sometimes, I wrote original fiction. Then, it switched. I was a reader. Was I a writer? There were weeks when I didn't write at all.

Here at the beginning of Week Four, I know what it means to be a writer. I took the first step to 50,000 words. I had the sheer dumbassery of believing I could try this scary thing. And now, I know that writing does not scare me. Writing frustrates me, it makes me believe in the world and lose faith in it. It is beautiful, it is ugly, and it is everything in between. But - I am not afraid of it. And I think, this is something I will take with me for the rest of my life. Because now, at the beginning of Week Four, not even at the end of the month: I am a writer.

Are you?

38784 / 50000 words. 78% done!


  1. My sympathies to you and your family.

    I agree that writing is a great comfort. Watching your NaNo progress bar makes me feel like such a slacker (what else is new? haha). This is your first year too right? Well, you're kicking ass! Congrats on all of this!

    This post itself was pretty pep-talky. I should pick up the pace. Thanks!

  2. I'm so Sorry about your grandfather. It's nice that your dad can be there with your grandmother, but it's got to be hard for all of you to be separated by thousands of miles.

    As for NaNo, I'm so proud of you! You are a writer! What an amazing feeling!

  3. You are a writer. And I'm so excited for you that you challenged yourself. You'll always know you can do it, because you already did!

    Very sorry about your grandfather though.

  4. I really love this post. I think you've summed up the NaNo experience for me and probably hundreds of other participants. I'm glad you've had such a positive experience with it as well!

    I'm sorry about you grandfather. *hugs*