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In 2007, I decided I wanted to try to do NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month. My fingers were itchy to write, something I hadn’t done seriously since college. My brain needed something to distract itself from the intense desire to conceive that was not being fulfilled at that time.
So I went from crocheting like a maniac to writing like a maniac. (I’ve never gone back to crochet, as much as I love it.) Despite having a rather debilitating car accident on October 30–and not leaving the hospital until Halloween–I had a brand-new laptop with me on the couch on November 1 and started to write my big novel.
I loved pounding out words. I’ve had stories trapped in my head for as long as I can remember; my mom boasts I wrote my first story around age 5 and she was so proud because it had a beginning, middle, and end.
The first tale I tried to spin, however, was not my own. Try as I might, I could not write the novel stemming from my uncle’s dream. The story was fantastic; my point-of-view was not.
So I started again, halfway through the month. I had no qualms that I would actually finish the requisite 50,000 words, but I remember the freeing feeling of sitting in Panera, hacking away on a story that was mine.
My “novel” has about 14,500 words, and I would say 90% of them were written in November 2007. Reading it now, I fear there is too much of me in the main character and too little imagination. Too many real-life people drawn in. I have too little experience being a single adult to write from that perspective (although my sister has lent me a plethora of tales).
I still want to finish it.
Really, I think my true talent is for creative non-fiction: writing what’s happened in real life in an interesting (and in my case, somewhat humorous) way. But my heart yearns to finish a novel. Because that is an accomplishment. Because it’s what I have wanted to do my entire life.
With as much time as I waste online, I should have 10 novels written by now.
Do you have a childhood dream that can’t be stomped? Would you write a book or even try?