06 November 2010


In November, I will write a novel, 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30.  Why?  Maybe I'm crazy, but in the midst of 16 credits of classes, 9+ hours of research a week, and marching band, having an exciting plot twist or a new character to introduce is something for me to look forward to writing at the end of each day.

I've considered myself a "writer" since elementary school.  My earliest memory of writing meaning something important was in third grade, when I won a poetry contest for a poem I had written about outer space.  It was around that time when I realized that writing meant something more important than just turning in assignments.

As middle school arrived, I found myself writing more poetry.  I had never gotten much in to writing prose, but poetry became an escape.  I started many a notebook to fill with poems.  At some point, I also attempted to write a short story, but did not get very far with it.  So, poetry it was.

In high school, I continued writing poetry- albeit less of it than before- but was becoming more dissatisfied with what, I was beginning to discover, its limited role was.  I needed direction towards writing prose, what seemed like a long leap from what I had written in the past.  Senior year of high school, I took an English elective, Creative Writing and Poetry (a semester of each).  My teacher, Mr. Tortorelli, really opened my eyes to writing.  The poetry anthology that was the final project for the Poetry semester is one of the things I treasure most.  The comments he gave me on that project are still what I think back to for inspiration and to remind me that one person, at least, got something out of what I had written.  During Creative Writing, we were asked to write a short story, and that was my first experience with creating a plot and seeing it through to the end.  Though the story was only three pages, I realized that writing prose was something achievable.

Once college rolled around, I barely had time to write anything at all aside from papers.  My freshman spring, I enrolled in Creative Writing, hoping that by being forced to write for class, I would be inspired to write outside of it.  That didn't work so well- once that semester ended, I didn't write again, seriously, until less than a week ago- but for the class, I wrote a short story about a young mother who gives up her baby in an open adoption.  At some point, I'd like to seriously revise and edit that piece.  Unlike the story I had written in high school, this was more personal, as it was based (loosely) off of my cousin's adoption from China.  Not only was writing important to me, but I again realized how much of an impact it could have on others.

Being a Molecular Bio/Biochem and French literature double major does not give much time or reason for writing a novel.  I had heard of NaNoWriMo as a freshman, and now, as a junior, I am taking the plunge.  I feel like I have been getting so wrapped up in coursework that I have been neglecting things I used to love doing.  Yes, I love French.  Yes, I love biology.  But there are other things I love that have been getting pushed off to the sidelines of my life for too long.  Maybe NaNoWriMo is just the excuse I need to pull them back to center court.

It's day 6 of NaNoWriMo, and I am just over 25% of the way to 50,000 words.  The official count is 12,575.  In between studying for a Religion exam on Christianity and starting to find primary sources for a paper on the influence of French symbolists on future artists, I will be sure to find time to return to Vythnn.  Adam just fell asleep, and he can't wake up until I figure out what happens next!
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