28 December 2007

I dream in words

For as long as I can remember, I have been completely and utterly in love with words, particularly words woven together to tell stories. For me, there is almost nothing in this world that is as beautiful as a well-written sentence.

Flowing from this love of words is obviously a love for literature. I started reading even before I went to school, and have had my nose stuck in a book at every possible opportunity. As a young reader, I didn’t really care what kind of books I read, as long as I could drown myself in words.I also discovered that I liked using words myself, and, in particular, to tell stories. And, about half-way through high school, I had made up my mind: I wanted to be writer when I grew up.

And I pursued a career in writing the same way my brother pursued his career as spider man. I donned the suit, and thought about it a lot. I even, on occasion, pretended to write something. But, in my head, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

And so I have been plodding through life for far too long, always holding on to the ideal of being a writer, one day when I grow up.

Earlier this year, I realised that, just maybe, at 33, I should start considering myself on the bring of being grown up, and, if I really want to pursue this writing career, now is as good a time as any to write something more than just another blog entry. So, I signed up for NaNoWriMo, because, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I rationalised that it would kick start me into writing again, and, if I managed to complete the task of writing a 50000 word novel in a month, the whole puzzle will fall into place.

So, November of this year, I wrote. And I wrote some more. The original idea for the story was born from a dream I had. Actually, I had three dreams, and each found a place in the story in the end. And, as I started writing, I had no real idea of what it entailed to write a novel. I thought 50000 words… no problem. Writing only 1600 words a day sounded easy. I even set a personal target of writing closer to 5000 words a day, so I could finish sooner, and have time for proof reading and edits.
Of course, Murphy had to visit, and several unfortunate incidents meant I did not write a single word for 11 days. This, after writing close on 22000 words in the first week and a bit. With a week left to write and 28000 words left to write, I was convinced, briefly, that there was no way I was going to make it.

And then I realised that if I believed that then I was back at playing writer-writer (donning the suit, pretending to write). If I was serious about this writing thing, then I had to finish this task. And so, I wrote. And within 5 and a half days, I managed to write the remaining 28000 words required to complete my NaNoWriMo novel.

I still want to be a writer. But I realised that waiting until I grow up might be putting it off a little too long. So, now, I have started proofreading and editing my masterpiece that took all of 16 days, really, to write, so that I can prepare it for the gruelling process of submission to agents and publishers in the next couple of weeks. Because that is part of the job of a writer.

I still like to dream of that one day, when I can sit in my den overlooking the ocean and write to my heart’s content. And maybe, just maybe, I am now one step closer to this dream.

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