If you guys have been around the blog world for a couple months, you’ve probably seen something related to NaNoWriMo – a post, a picture, a Tweet, something. You may have even cringed to read that word because, whether you participated or not, you’re probably at some level of being NaNoWriMo-ed out. For those of you who don’t know much about it, NaNoWriMo (AKA, National Novel Writing Month) is a month-long event during which authors work towards a goal of writing 50,000 words of their novel all in 30 days. They’re absolutely crazy! From what I’ve heard, it’s really intense. You type and type and type until your fingers bleed, and at the end you have a 50,000 words that more or less form a baby book which still needs a lot of work to become a published novel. In spite of the difficulty, something about that has an irresistible draw for me. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but over the last months, a few of my favorite bloggers showed me that I can write a book. Like, now. I want to write a book! There it is. It’s official.
I have a lot of experience with rushing into things without a lot of consideration or prior knowledge, so about four seconds after I decided that I wanted to write a book, I was hit with images of me sitting on the floor, burned out and surrounded by half a novel’s worth of pages that would never become a real book. I can’t say similar things haven’t happened before. (Coughcough, the aftermath of Hurrican Scrapbook in my basement right now.) I do, however, really want to write a book – it’s a total bucket list item. And because bucket list items a) are mandatory and b) deserve consideration and prior knowledge, I emailed some experienced authors to learn a little bit about what I’m getting myself into. They were so, so helpful, and I know lots of things about writing books now that I didn’t before! I’d like to share that with you so that we can both not end up burned out on the floor, but I’d probably want to introduce them to you anyway, because they’re great: meet Lindsay, Chelsea, and Rachael.
|From left to right: Lindsay, Chelsea, and Rachael, blogger / author extraordinaires!|
All three authors were bloggers first (I’ll give you all their information at the end so you can stalk them a little), and they’ve each chosen to expand their passion for writing into the novel world, which makes them pretty cool. Chelsea’s book is in print, as in you could go to Barnes and Nobel right now and buy it, and Lindsay and Rachael are both well on their way. They’re all writing fiction, but each with a different spin – they’re talking relationships and mystery and travel. They’re all from different parts of the world, but the whole writing thing must be universal or else they cheated on this because they all had similar sentiments – unique, but sparked by the same passion. I absolutely loved hearing from them and learning things about what writing a book and being an author are like. Things I now know:
// Authors write about anything and everything.
Allie: What are you writing about?
Lindsay: My book is called “Seekers,” and it’s about a group of strangers who embark on the hunt for a long-lost hidden treasure shrouded in myths of sinister curses, hauntings and even murder.
Rachael: My book is about a girl who is about to leave her exciting life to travel for six months. She gets to experience life in new places, and also learns a lot about her life on the way.
// Authors write about what speaks to them.
Allie: What inspired you to write what you’re writing?
Rachael: My life right now is really inspiring me to write about travel and learning about yourself. We always read books about the girl who finds the boy, but instead of the boy, what if she finds herself? The genre (as of right now) will be young adult fiction, one of my favorites to read and also something I have a lot of experience with because I am a middle school teacher.
Allie: Your book deals with love, loss, friendships, and life stuff – things that lots of people can relate to, but are also very intimate. How personal is the content of your books to you?
//The entire writing process is full of roadblocks, and that’s part of what makes writers want to write, as crazy as that sounds.
Allie: As you worked on your manuscript, what did you learn about the writing process that surprised you the most?
Lindsay: How truly difficult writing a book is. This sounds obvious, I can picture you reading this thinking, “This girl is an idiot, what on earth did she expect?” but in a way it was a complete revelation to me. I think I had a highly romanticized notion of “writing” and the reality was vastly different. I expected the words to flow effortlessly as I sipped my light roast coffee with my two cats sleeping soundly at my feet. The real situation was more like me staring at my computer, forcing the words to come out when they didn’t seem interested in appearing, my eye twitching dangerously as I sipped my fourth Monster of the morning while my cats and husband were hanging out without me – often battling a voice of harsh negativity and self-doubt in my mind. It was hard. It was lonely. It was spectacularly daunting. But I kept. on. Going. It’s okay if your writing process isn’t pretty, I learned. All that matters is that you make the words happen. And as for that voice of negativity in my hear, I think every writer deals with that. I have to make an active choice to ignore it every single time I sit down to write.
Rachael: I have hated feeling like I never have enough time/motivation (let’s be honest, I’m a blogger AND an English teacher, so I’m constantly surrounded by words. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming. The worst part is the feat that what I’m writing might actually be total crap. I’m always a little worried that maybe I’ll finish my book and it will be awful. But at least I’ll have written a book, right?
// Writing is all about the people you have around you.
Lindsay: The decision to write a book actually came rather quickly, for me. I’ve loved to write my entire life, and once a few folks (my husband, my mom, Juliette of theotherjuliette.blogspot.com) planted the seed, I decided, “Heck, there’s no time like the present, self, let’s dream up the plotline and write a damn book. “ It sounds so cheesy, but I honestly couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and support of my family and friends. I swear, their words of affirmation were better than crack. Not that I would know. Probably. (That was a joke, I don’t do drugs stronger than Tylenol.)
Rachael: I also love my writing circle, which is when a small group of us get together every two weeks and share something different, whether it be writing a screenplay to poetry to novels! It’s so inspiring to be around people like that.
// Writing is totally worth it.
Lindsay: While I wrote the first draft I was figuring it out as I went. Now that it’s complete, it’s cool to step back and rethink my story with a more complete frame of mind.
Rachael: I think the reason you should write a book is not only will you sound really cool at dinner parties, but it’s really rewarding to be working towards such a positive personal goal. //
That’s it, you guys. I’m writing a book. Dangerously twitching eyes and happy crying over the first copy in print and wanting to give up and feeling like I’ve accomplished something really, really big? Sign me up, all of it. I’m so sold!
Thanks so much for letting me be here today, Anna, and thanks for reading to words of a complete stranger, reader of Anna in Wonderland! I appreciate you! (Sidenote: But let’s stop being strangers – you can drop by my regular blogging space and leave me a note, because I’d love to get in touch.)