I’m writing a novel

Last month, I had this grand plan of prewriting a bunch of posts because I knew I’d be busy for all of November. That didn’t happen. I did try, I outlined all of them and started about half. But, well. I’m me and got overwhelmed which means I pretended everything was fine and started rewatching a show I’ve seen 9 times on Netflix again. But I have been working on something worthwhile. 

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year! 

For those of you who’ve never heard of Nano, it’s National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November, which is around the average length of a YA novel. If you break it down, it’s about, 1,667 words a day for the entire month. I am terrified.

I’ve wanted to do it for about 8 or so years, though. I even tried once, but only got about 4,000 words in. So, I’m not exactly confident in my ability to write OR follow through, to be honest. But I am excited to take this idea (more on that in a second) I’ve been playing around with for a while and attempt to turn it into something real.

I’ve always written. 

My mom loves to remind me of a story I wrote when I was around 8 or 9 called “the stick figure”. Clearly, I was a creative genius. A child prodigy. Excuse me while I go cringe for an hour.

From 10-14ish,  my friends and I were big into poetry. Like, super angsty cliche poetry. We had matching notebooks and would call each other on the phone to read whatever new thing we’d written and then talk for an hour about what we liked/disliked about it. It was surprisingly wholesome, given how depressing everything we wrote was.

And starting in college, I got into writing blog posts. But I kind of treat these like a conversation. I write about the things I like talking to friends and family about. They’re casual and fast reads. In a way, they feel easy to write. I’m not trying to be anything but just me sharing something that’s important to me, whether that’s advocacy or a memory I want to save for myself to look back on one day. I work hard on my little blog posts, but it’s nothing like writing fiction. 

Fiction intimidates the hell out of me. I latch onto stories and characters so hard I feel like I’ve known them my entire life. Books are supposed to be an escape, and to write something that can take a person out of their life and into another is not a simple task. You have to make sure every character has a distinct voice, the plot makes sense, it’s interesting, doesn’t drag but doesn’t move too fast. It’s hard. Like, super mega scary hard. Still though, the thought of having my own characters and getting to put them in stories I have control over always sounded magical to me. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to write a book.

So, I’m writing one!

I can’t say much about what I’m writing, mostly because I don’t have it entirely figured out yet. I’ve never written anything like this before, or anything this long, so I’ve just kind of been winging it. But I knew I wanted the main character to be disabled. And I knew I wanted it to be something I never read anything like before. A story that would’ve helped me when I was younger.

My nanowrimo project is about Izzy, a senior in college who happens to be a full time wheelchair user. She’s trying to figure out her life in a world that isn’t built for disabled people. I also knew going into this project that I’d never write her as someone struggling to come to terms with their disability or wishing they could be cured. She’s happy and content with her disabled body. That was the one thing I knew 100% for sure going into it. 

Everything else is still kind of up in the air. I’m just winging it and having fun seeing where it goes as I write it. I want it to be happy and fun. I want Izzy to fall in love and have adventures. Disabled people deserve sweet, lighthearted stories too.

Anyway, it’s just the first draft, so I’ve given myself permission to let it suck. I’m just focusing on getting the plot down and next draft I can hopefully make it actually sound good. Fingers crossed and no promises, though.

I have no plans for what I’ll do with it when I finish. And I have no idea if anyone but me will ever read it. Honestly, I’m just excited to be able to say I’ve written a book and trying to have fun figuring out the story. It’s pretty intense, though. You can fall behind so quickly, and at 1,667 words a day, your word count adds up scary fast. My blog posts have kind of been put on the back burner, but there will be more soon. Promise! 

Wish me luck on the rest of NaNoWriMo!

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