It’s that time again, the lead up to NaNoWriMo. Each November hundreds of thousands of writers around the world commit to writing, the goal is to write a 50k word novel over the month, but writers can approach it however it suits them. I’ve done this month long writing sprint five times already (and I got 50k words each time). Talk about glutton for punishment, am I right?
It’s only a few days away and I haven’t got a story idea yet. I’m thinking maybe
more of a family saga than the relationship focused stories I’ve done in the past. I’ll put a romance into it, because I like that sort of thing, but the family dynamics is where my interest is at the moment.
A couple of times over the last month I’ve had conversations with people about my writing. I’ve told them them I have five novel length manuscripts in varying states of polish. Four of these have been submitted to traditional publishers but so far no one has chosen to pick them up.
Sometimes it feels hard to explain to people that I’m a writer when I haven’t had my stories published. I feel like they look at it as a badge of worth. Other writers, of course, understand that if is incredibly difficult to have your writing picked up by a traditional publisher. J.K. Rowling, famously, had eleven publishers reject Harry Potter, and Virginia Woolf published herself.
I know my work is developing and my style is becoming more clear with every project I do. People I’ve shown my work to have responded positively, but occasionally I have doubts. I’ve put a lot of hours into writing in the last six so years. It’s been a labour of love; I do it because, as tortured as the process can be sometimes, I like having written. I like that I’m a writer.
Whether I make it to being an ‘author’ with a traditionally published book remains to be seen. I’ll continue to write novels, and maybe only five people with ever read them. But maybe I’ll find an audience and it will make a difference to someone’s life.
For now, I’ll put the coffee pot on and get down to business. I’ll have to say no to social outings, because for the next month I need to write at least 1700 words a day. And I’ll do it, because I’m stubborn like that. You can follow my progress here. See you on the other side.