19 June 2008

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. My approach to music was very similar. I struggled to listen to music with no words, and songs had to be well written, telling a story of more than just sex for me to be interested. Not that there is anything wrong with songs about sex, but the average pop song is just not well crafted, lyrically, in my mind. 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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