Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009: A Stepping Stone

NaNoWriMo 2009: A Stepping Stone
By Teah Abdullah

When I told my friends that I will be writing a novel this November a few months ago, their reactions were all the same: Good for you! You've always wanted to do that since you were in middle school!

But when I told them I will be writing 50k of words in one month... well, they were concerned.

I graduated college in July and travelled for a few months until I finally settled in my home country in September. The original plan was to start working in January 2010 to pave way for some creative writing which I neglected in college. Instead, I was lucky to be called in for a job interview. In October, I began working at the organisation, which requires me to be on the tip of my toe for 24 hours.

I was excited when I began writing for National Novel Writing Month earlier this month that I told my friends that I've been doing really well (and I was!) This is my first NaNoWriMo. My friends, bless them, have not yet forced me to go out with them for social sessions knowing that I would like to spend more time writing. I recently hit 25k words--halfway from the finishing line--and I am at that point where I just want to go to sleep instead of write. I would prefer it if my friends drag me out of my pyjamas to go out with them. I would prefer to go to a friend's music show instead of spending the night in front of a machine.

However, a nagging part of me that sounds alarmingly like my mother told me to keep writing. If I don't do this, I will never get to do this until I retire from my job. I only just started working, thus my dedication towards my novel only happens at night. Plus, I'm still being trained so I do have sufficient amount of time to write at work. But in the future, when I will have heavier--much heavier--workload, I won't be able to dedicate my time to writing a novel as much I am privileged to now. I'll just find reasons to put off writing a novel.

That's why I continue writing, because the future seems bleak when it comes to writing a novel if I don't do this now. I might not get this particular novel published, but at least I would feel the hunger to write more once I'm done with it, and I will finish it. I don't have to write my future novel within the time span of a month, but having the capability of writing my first novel within a one month duration means that I am capable of writing a better (and more succinct) novel in a longer period of time. More than anything, NaNoWriMo 2009 is a stepping stone for my future endeavour in novel writing.

Guest blogger Teah Abdullah is a 22-year-old writer working in foreign affairs from the country of Brunei. She has been writing fiction with enthusiasm since she was 11 years old, and was once told by a sarcastic teacher, "good luck with making writing as a career choice." Find her post nonsense on Tumblr Click here.

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