Writing, NaNoWriMo and Going All In

I’ve wanted to be a writer since my early twenties. I didn’t have a passion for writing (or anything else really) as a teenager so I was what you might call a “late bloomer” when it came to finding what I wanted to do. Since then I’ve talked about being a writer, thought endlessly about being a writer and written lots of words on various blogs about my desire to be a writer.

Yet, when it comes to actually writing a story, with a beginning, middle and an end, I have come up short in every way.

I’ve written for blogs and websites, sure. I’ve written countless words about comic books and pop culture, endless sentences about basketball and sports and enjoyed doing it. But that was never the kind of writing I wanted to do.

I want to tell stories about regular people. Not fantasy tales or science fiction epics. I want to tell stories about normal people and their lives. The mundane and boring mixed with brief moments of incredible passion and emotion. The honest way all of us go about living our lives until we all pay the death we owe.

Despite the fact that my head is filled to overflowing with ideas, have I ever written any stories like that?

Nope.

Why not? Because I have never gone all in on trying to be a writer.

I’ve never sat down and planned out a story, created the characters and situations and then actually wrote a story from start to finish. I’ve never done the hard work and finished a first draft. I’ve always had some excuse. That I don’t have the time or I’m working on my web serial that no one reads or I’m depressed.

I’ve never gone all in.

I think it’s long overdue that maybe I should.

Because time grows short. If not now, when? As someone once told me “Either one day or day one, you decide.”

I need to take my shot.

Every November writers around the world take part in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a 50,000 word first draft in the 30 days of the month of November. It doesn’t need to be a finished novel, just the start of a first draft that you can continue to work on later.

For me, my goal is to finish a complete first draft by November 30, even if it’s more than 50,000 words. If I can’t do it, then I’m done trying to convince myself I can be a writer. There’s just no point. I’m not going to continue with the idea I’m going to be a writer “someday” if I won’t do the work and tell the stories I have in my head. I’m too old to keep doing that. At some point it just becomes sad and pathetic.

And for the three of you out there who might care, yes, this means that my web serial Blood Sprawl will be going on hiatus, probably until next year.

I need to do this. I need to see if I can get that first draft done. That I can maybe be a writer who actually writes something. That I can do the work I need to do and finish writing a book.

I’m going all in.

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