Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Round 1 - The Finale

I seem to waver.

A lot.

I waver between wanting to write and not caring if I ever commit another word to any story ever.

There's one thing I've been saying in this blog since last year, when Round of Words in 80 days began. I said it in the first entry. I said it again in the wrap-up of the first Round 1. I said it when I came back for Round 1 of 2012, and I've said it several times since then:

I'm not a writer.

Many folks will try to convince you that if you write, you're a writer. And to an extent, I believe that's true. I don't subscribe to the hoity toity idea that you must be a published author who is making a living out of this to be able to claim the mantle of a writer. But I do believe there's more to it than that.

Simply writing doesn't make you a writer. Any boob can write a story. I'm proof of that. (Please note: I didn't say good story.) But not just any boob can be called a writer. A writer feels some drive to be writing. There are always plots, plans, characters, dialogue, twists, and even entire worlds constantly engaging part of a writer's brain. When a writer is not writing (such as at a job), the writer is thinking about writing. Television and movies are "research" instead of entertainment. (The same can be said of aspiring actors. *cough cough*)

A writer finishes one story and starts pondering what to write next. A writer writes, wants it like no one's business, and makes no excuses for it.

A writer does not look for reasons not to write. (Seems like a double negative, I know. Sorry. I'm not a writer.) A writer doesn't sit at the word processor (or with the notebook and pen) and wish to be somewhere else. A writer doesn't look at the computer (or paper) with dread. A writer wants to write. Even if tormented by the dreaded Block™, the desire to write is still there, lurking -- at the very least -- beneath the surface of the writer's mind.

These scenarios I describe? The only ones that match me and my mindset are the ones in that last paragraph. I look for reasons not to write. I sit at my computer and think, "There's a Friday the 13th marathon with my name all over it!" At times, I don't even think about writing until I get the twice-weekly email from Kait Nolan reminding me to update my ROW80 progress.

For me, November is my month for writing. It is the exception to the mindset. And yes, I'll admit that when I write in November, I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, and I tell myself I'm going to carry the resulting enthusiasm through into the next year.

And I sign up for ROW80.

And lose the drive to write, because... well, I'm not a writer.

Round 1 Goals:
  1. (DONE) Re-read what is written on Untitled NaNoWriMo 2011 Project
  2. Finish first (and only) draft of Untitled NaNoWriMo 2011 Project
    • 500 words per day except Fridays or
    • 3,000 words per week

I never did manage to type "THE END" on the travesty that was this particular story. In fact, for many of the updates, my word count for the week was 0. I'm not 100% sure, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that my entire Round 1 word count was less than my weekly goal.

Ryan King forced me to look at why I do ROW80 (at least the Round 1's). Normally, strangers don't influence me to do the internal examination thing, but Ryan's a cool guy. I already knew that it was the momentum of NaNoWriMo, but he asked why I do NaNoWriMo if I'm not a writer.

Initially, I did NaNoWriMo because in November 2004, I thought I was a writer. (See this blog's first entry for my history in writing.) Between then and now, that desire to create fiction went away. November stayed, though, because I had met so many great people. The one year I didn't do NaNoWriMo (2008), I was miserable. I missed the people. There didn't seem to be a purpose. I guess I missed the writing, too.

Thus the opening joke of the blog: I'm not a writer, but I play one in November.

It's probably obvious, then, that I won't be back for Round 2. Prolly not 3 or 4, either. If the pattern holds true, though, I will be back for Round 1 of 2013. Then again, I have a pretty major life change coming up. I might end up dropping out of NaNoWriMo, too. Nothing is ever certain. That's more true at this moment than it usually is.

I hope everyone who is a writer did some good stuff this round. I hope you continue to do well in everything you do. And I do intend to look in on some of you every now and then. (I'm looking at you, Ryan King!)

Take a look at how the rest of the ROW80 gang fared this round!

1 comment:

  1. *grin* Thanks. And I'll be around. No worries there. There's no shame in being just a Wrimo. There's quite a number of people who write only during Nov. As a matter of fact, one of the MLs for my region ONLY writes in Nov because of NaNo. The other ML is mostly the same way but occasionally she'll write some fanfic. See, you're not the only one. Just be true to yourself. That's all anyone can ever ask.