Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm not a writer, but I play one in November.

Okay, lame jokes as an intro aside, my name is Darren Blake. There was a time in my life that I played at being several things in the entertainment world: actor, singer, and writer. I've been successful (in my own mind) locally on the first dream -- the owner of a local comedy troupe keeps calling me every year and a half or so to reprise my role in one of the revolving shows, so I must be doing something right. I gave up my delusions on the second dream, since I sound like a cat caught in a blender.

It's that third dream that is the focus of this blog.

I started writing when I was but a wee flickguy. I was always fascinated by episodic storytelling, even though at the time I wouldn't have been able to put my finger on that. I would watch TV shows and marvel at exactly where they would choose to go to commercial. And the phrase which causes me so much angst and turmoil today ("To Be Continued") was at the time a point of severe fascination. Even if I didn't care for the show itself, I would wonder to myself what would happen next? Did the hero escape the bomb that just went off? Are the plans the evil mastermind just put into motion going to spell doom for the good guys? Just how will the person in the freeze frame escape the peril he or she is in?

Six times out of ten, I would run off and write it. In synopsis form, at least. What does a nine-year-old know of plot, structure, dialogue, and the like?

For a time, I imagined that I would one day have multiple books on whatever Bestseller List was popular when I grew up. I would be a Writer™, never have to work a day in my life, and have the fame and fortune of a modern-day Stephen King.

Who knew Stephen King would still be the modern-day Stephen King?

I've come back to earth in terms of the grandiose nature of my three dreams. I'm comfortable with what I do acting-wise and what I can't do singing-wise. But that writing thing... I still dabble, and I still have the odd delusion that I will see my name in print. (This delusion is usually quickly tempered by the fact that I'm not a very good writer. Not being good, however, doesn't seem to stop me.)

I've also learned that the dabbling doesn't seem to happen when I'm doing it by myself. This is why I opened with my joke about November. That's when National Novel Writing Month takes place. It's the only month I ever do any significant amount of writing.

One of my NaNoWriMo friends mentioned to me that he, his wife, and a couple of mutual friends and acquaintances would be doing A Round of Words in 80 Days. If you're here, you probably came from there and already know all about it. If you stumbled here from elsewhere, let me summarize: 80 Days. Make your own goal. Write something. Round One begins January 3, 2011.

This blog is intended as my accountability in the "ROW80" challenge. I will post periodic word count updates, thoughts, difficulties and triumphs, and anything else that comes into my mind related to this particular writing endeavor. And if I fail -- which tends to happen in non-November writing attempts -- it will be here in my obscure corner of the blogging universe.

Next step: Making "public" my goal for Round One when instructed to do so.


  1. You've always been a fine writer. Good to see you are keeping the November momentum going still. Love ya.

  2. Very exciting. :) I'm hoping #ROW80 will help keep me accountable also. This past November was my first NaNoWriMo, and I found it highly productive. Here's looking to ROW80! :)

  3. I'm excited about A Round of Words in 80 Days! Just signed up. :)