December 31, 2009. A day that will live in...disappointment. And, hopefully, growth.
I remember the day I turned ten. My whole life prior, I told people I was a single digit years old. That magical single digit. I was one, I was two, I was three, four, five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Those years where only the children belong. I only had that for nine years. Then I left it behind forever. I turned ten. I joined the ranks of the double-digits. For most of the rest of my life, I would be double-digits years old.
Ten is the beginning of a new kind of growth. You're still an innocent, carefree little kid...except then you become eleven. You are a preteen. You have preteen angst, even as you turn twelve, and then at thirteen you leave even that behind and turn into a teenager. Fourteen and you're in high school. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. College.
The new millennium is about to turn ten. And where am I?
Two summers ago, I started working on a project. A piece of writing. It was just a little piece of writing then. I didn't even think it would mean anything more than an email venting my frustration in the form of a two paragraph story.
But this piece of writing grew. For a year and a half, I have written - and not written - around that first email. I'd spend many, many days - weeks - not writing anything at all. And then inspiration would strike and I'd churn out another little writing episode. That's all it was. A collection of writing episodes.
But by the end of this year - by the end of December 31, 2009, I'm supposed to have a first draft of a novel. And I don't. Not even close.
So I'm sorry to anyone who was expecting me to have completed that draft. And I'm sorry to myself, because it's myself who I've let down the most.
I really dislike being disappointing. And I'm sad that I have to end the year feeling like I did not accomplish what I should have accomplished.
One thing I learned through months of experience now is that it is extremely difficult to write creatively when you are not inspired to. And that is what being a writer is all about - writing under all conditions: when people are around, when people are not around, when it's too loud, when it's too quiet, when it's too hot, too cold, when you're exhausted, or when you really want to get out and do something. Being a writer is not writing whenever the fancy takes hold of you. It's writing even when you don't feel like it - because you have to. You have to for you and you have to for your story. And I desperately want to be that kind of writer. A real one. One who is primarily writing, not occasionally writing. It's a lot harder than I thought.
I don't want to give up. I can't give up. I'll never forgive myself if I do. So I hope that no one loses faith in me, even if I am disappointing right now. It's about to be 2010. A new year for writing. If I've learned anything, it's that you can't be a writer based on talent alone. I don't have a natural skill for perseverance, but I sure am going to try and develop one.
And one thing that redeems this post is that it is part of my novel, too. And it's 637 words.
Here's to a new year of writing, and of reaching any goal just within your grasp. I hope you all accomplish everything you set out to do, and remember, even if you fail, a new fight starts tomorrow. Make it count.
My ical alarm just went off. A little message popped up on my screen saying, “300 pages of novel due.” I wish so badly that I was there. I’m so sorry that I’m not. So disappointed.
But…I am closer every day to finishing this ever-growing piece of writing. And I am at least a hundred pages closer to having a real novel than I’ve ever been in my entire life. That’s not nothing. I hope my book continues to grow and develop as it should, and at a more regular, steady pace.