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My Journey: The Beginning

I was always a smart kid. I was talking in full sentences before I turned 2, and I distinctly remember lying on my stomach in the basement office/playroom at my Nana’s house with a pencil, my favorite book about storks, and a lined notebook. With a determined tongue stuck out between my teeth, I would painstakingly copy my favorite stories onto the blank paper. Such began my fascination with stories. I had such a vivid imagination that I absorbed everything around me with an added flourish: the crack in the wall in my closet was a door to a world of angels and magic, the creepy stonewall stairway to the dark and dank basement was filled with gluttonous, talking rats, the dirty and bug-filled crawlspace under the back half of my childhood house was the start a treacherous quest that only the bravest of warriors could face and survive.

I may have been constantly making up stories in my own head space, but I didn’t write anything down on paper until I was ten years old. I had recently moved to a new state (Texas from Massachusetts) which was, to say the least, a traumatizing time in my early life. I had also just really begun homeschooling, which helped to shape me as a writer and is an important part of my past. No “what if” is big enough to encompass what my life could have been like if I had gone to public school, or never left Massachusetts. All I know is that, at age 10, I wrote a short story. It was very short–two full sides of one piece of college-ruled paper–and it was about a sad boy who was stuck in a mirror and the girl who helped him. I’m fairly certain I have the original piece of paper still as a reminder of where it all began.

I have written a lot since I was 10 years old. 15 years of writing concludes in over 100 folders of half-ideas, five “finished” (I use this word lightly) novels, a million words invested in fanfiction, a half a dozen college creative writing courses, and a strong desire to publish. It is an ultimate dream of mine to walk into a book store and see my book on the shelf. When it happens–positive thinking!–I will probably end up breaking down in tears. My life continues to throw me curveballs, and as the time ticks away, I fear my chances of getting published are beginning to slim. It’s times like these that I remember how excited 10 year old me was to write a story, and how everyone’s lives move at different paces.

I am an author.

I will get published.

This is just the beginning.

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NaNoWriMo

We all know what NaNoWriMo is. If you don’t, it stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. I believe, years ago, it stood for “National November Writing Month”, but that could be misinformation. NaNo, for short, is an event hosted on a website where it challenges you to write 50,000 words a day for the month of November. (There are multiple smaller events through the year, but we’re focusing on November right now.) It’s a really great exercise, especially if you do well with a deadline and visual stimulation. The website is set up in such a way where you can view your statistics in a bar-graph. This means, instead of just numbers going up in your word document, you can see bars stagger upwards toward your goal!

I do very well with visual stimulation and a visual representation of my progress is a great way to keep me motivated. I wish there was NaNo every month for this very reason! I have yet to find a good simulator I can use on the months when NaNo isn’t actively occurring. That is, however, beside the point in this blog.

A lot of people don’t finish NaNo; I have a track record of never actually completing a NaNo month in the five or so years that I’ve participated. Most of this is attributed to the fact that it takes place in November, a time when I had midterms and finals going on at a massive scale. After I graduated two years ago, I went through a rough patch where I didn’t write for six months. My writing has been super spotty ever since then. Which is why I’m so keen on doing NaNo this year! I need to write another novel. It’s been too long since I wrote my last WIP (over two years), and I am having a hard time motivating myself farther into my writing career because of it.

No one writes a perfect novel in 50,000 words on a first draft. Hell, no one writes a perfect novel in 100,000 words on a first draft. That’s not really the point of NaNo: the point is to challenge yourself to reach a goal and to have support from friends and fellow writers to reach a goal. Many people far surpass the 50,000 word mark. Some barely get there. But the fact of the matter is that on December 1st, you will have written more words in November than you had on October 31st. It doesn’t matter if they are perfect, it just matters that you’re writing, that you’re creating and that you’re enjoying yourself.

If you would like to follow my progress on NaNo, my pen name is Negasonics. I encourage everyone to join NaNo, even if you don’t think you’ll make it to 50,000 words. It is called a challenge for a reason, and there is nothing wrong with a little challenge, a little support, and even a little stress to get yourself going.

So please, become my buddy on NaNoWriMo! Follow my twitter for updates and support! Grab some of your favorite cozy drink and foods, think of an idea that you’ve wanted to write for ages, or maybe think of something new and fresh, and just GO FOR IT! There is no right or wrong way to do NaNo, as long as you try.