Saturday, November 9, 2013

On Writing: and why we do it

      This month I have been participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which is where you attempt to write 50,000 words in 30 days. You can find more information about NaNoWriMo here.

      I've always been a big reader, since I read "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry in elementary school. I loved how even though I couldn't relate to what the characters were going through, I could still feel an emotional attachment to them. I couldn't get over how real they felt. As my book collection began to grow and build itself up with other books, some chapter books, a little bit of non-fiction books about the weather, and others were books that were only read to me before bedtime. It didn't really matter what the story was, I just wanted to hear one. Every once and a while I would come across a dud, or one that I didn't like. It wasn't until Fifth grade, when I moved from Alabama to North Carolina, did I ever think about the idea of writing. I knew nobody, and when one day we were told to write a story, that's exactly what I did.

   We were given slips of paper that had prompts, or things that we had to include in our story. When I pulled my slip of paper from the many in the teacher's hat, it read...


   I wanted to have the most unique story, and I came up with a story about an evil toast that manifested when you left it in the oven too long. When I read the story out loud I was greeted with tiny bits of laughter, and a roomful of smiles, but there were obviously kids that didn't really care. But those who enjoyed it, kept asking me to write more stories about evil toasts. I remember writing one for every holiday, including Halloween and Christmas.

   Over the course of a two years, writing became more serious for me. Not just wanting to write stories and not do anything with them, I started to carefully plan my stories and really think them through. I believe what starts a writer is a reader, and some readers become writers. I think the idea of being able to create new lives, and new worlds that stretch to the farthest corners of a person's imagination is what gets to people.

    If you're a writer, then congratulations.
    If you're trying to write a novel, then congratulations.
    If you're a reader, then congratulations.
    If you're also attempting NaNoWriMo, then congratulations! (and add me as a writing buddy, here.)