The sister question to "Where did the time go?" is "Where did the words go?"
It shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me that I am a woman of many words. I can blah, blah, blah with the best of 'em. As a means of expressing those many words I've dabbled in blogging, writing about 450 posts between the 2 blogs. Most of those posts have been written since September '08. In April of this year I joined the Twitter-masses, posting musings and news of my life in 140-characters or less. Apparently I've found 1388 things to say there - Twitter counts my tweets, keeping track for me.
For the last 2+ weeks the words that I've been tracking, guarding closely, watching and nurturing are all going into the novel I'm writing as part of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writers Month.
It's been a completely different writing experience - nothing like Twitter, nothing like blogs, nothing like monthly articles for newsletters. In October I'd imagined that I'd write a mystery. At the last minute, for many reasons, I decided to write about three couples at various stages of relationship. I wanted to develop characters (6!) and write believable dialogue and effectively express a story (or stories) of interest in thoughts that expanded beyond 140 characters and in plot-lines that carried beyond a day or two of introspection. I also wanted to develop the habit of writing every day.
I wake up every morning and thank God for blessing me with the desire and the ability to act on that desire. I've written over 37,000 words and I hope to cross 50,000 (the goal-line) by the time I go to bed this Friday. By the end of the month I'll be on a plane back to China for another 2-week business trip. I'm looking forward to the new adventures and writing opportunities I might find along the way. I have a non-fiction work on the back-burner already and I have ideas brewing for future fiction and non-fiction efforts.
They say it takes 30 days to change a habit and I'm definitely well on my way through the transition. I look forward to every opportunity to meet with my characters and follow them through their adventures and misadventures. When I cross the finish line, posting my first novel on the NaNoWriMo validator, I'm not finished! Nope. I'm just turning the page on the adventures and misadventures of my own life. In the absence of deadline pressure I'll have to rely on self-discipline to continue the new habit of daily writing.
Three years ago I made the declaration that I wanted to be a writer. I've been writing - my blogs, Twitter, the Trumpet and Guideposts are evidence of that. By the end of the month, 50,000 words will allow me to declare myself a novelist. A novelist in search of a publisher, maybe, but still a novelist. The desire, discipline and the daily habit of writing will enable me to do more. This experience has already changed me and I'm not done yet.
Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.