here's something that most everyone who knows me now does not know: i used to want to be a writer when i grew up. there was a period, post-forensic anthropology classes and pre-synagogue where that was all i ever thought about doing.
an even lesser known fact: i've already written a novel. its ok. it definitely needs a lot of work. i was actually working with an editor on it, about a million years ago, and decided it sucked and the work was too hard and i was done. yep. that's right. that crippling self doubt that occasionally consumes me consumed me and i squashed that dream of mine like a freakin' bug. not my shining moment. now you understand why you're just hearing about this now, right?
and another shana fact: i've been working half heartedly on a graphic novel for the last year and a half. half heartedly because i cannot draw and that seemed like a major road block. yeah, i could collaborate but dammit, there's that crippling self doubt. again.
a few months ago, it occurred to me that maybe i should shift gears and write the story as a young adult novel. the hero of my story is a pretty kick ass girl, after all. i thought maybe i was onto something.
determined to not let my brain get the best of me, i talked it out with some friends. most were incredibly enthusiastic. my friend syndy said, "don't you think you owe the world a young adult novel?"
so, i made the decision. i was going to write a young adult novel. in january.
why in january, you ask? well, because its october and we're coming up on the holiday season. i am going to be BUSY. so, january. that's what i told myself.
but my brain was already working; making the necessary adjustments to my already existing plot outline, thinking about how to handle my main characters parents since they weren't a big part of the graphic novel but will need to play a larger role now, developing characters in my head in slightly different ways than i had previously imagined them. this is what my brain is doing pretty much constantly. i wake up and make notes to myself. i talk to the dog about it. i talk to shawn about it. i talk to myself about it while i run. THIS is why i started running again.
it is always on my mind and i don't think waiting for january is a good idea.
over the weekend, neil gaiman posted this National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) pep talk. I read it and felt really inspired. i suddenly realized what i need to do.
just write. no waiting until january. i need to strike while the iron is hot. i need to do NaNoWriMo.
i asked shawn if he thought this was my craziest and/or worst idea ever? no, not even a little. would he intervene if i did this and went off the rails because of the (self imposed) pressure? of course he would. did he think i should do this? fuck YES.
i sent donovan an email. she is my main character's namesake and the character is loosely based on her. i think donovan sort of thought i was kidding all this time when i told her i was going to write a book as a result of a crazy conversation a bunch of us had over dinner and a great deal of wine. i wasn't then and now i'm really not. she used the word awesome in her response. awesome.
last night i told two more friends. i recieved high fives from both.
so here i am, telling you all. crippling self doubt be damned. i've got this.
(except for the part where if the holiday prep and show schedule becomes untenable and i've gone feral or i'm constantly weeping. if i can't finish it in november because i'm losing my mind, its ok. i will have gotten a good start and will totally be able to pick up the ball and run with it once things chill. but that's only if i lose my mind. otherwise, i've totally got this.)
wish me luck and don't be surprised if you don't see me much around these parts before december.