It’s my sincere hope that everyone met their personal goals during NaNoWriMo. It’s my further hope you continue, that you finish the draft, and one day revise it. NaNo is but the beginning of the beginning. If you didn’t win, by whatever margin, please remember NaNo is still only the beginning of the beginning.
Winning, losing, numbers don’t make you a writer. You make you a writer.
I’m a writer. I’m always a writer. I’m a writer no matter what I’m writing. It’s a decision I’ve made, but one long in the making.
As mentioned last week, I completed Aramon Daughters on November 18th and turned to A Glorious Past Reimagined, which is about halfway to completion. The series will then be drafted.
As always, I’m compiling changes to make to the earlier books based on later events. The time required to make the changes won’t be significant, but their impact will be. That’s the advantage of writing the entire series before publishing.
So, December is just another month of writing? Not exactly.
I find myself in a strange place. I’ve won NaNo eight times. I’m ending the series. There’s some nostalgia. There’s knowing big decisions are on the way when big decisions aren’t my best attribute.
That last bit? That’s me being scared. That’s me being the pure INFJ personality type I am. Another fact about this INFJ, though, is that I’m a survivor and when backed into a corner I’m a freaking protective lioness when it comes to her writing.
You can’t begin to imagine what a different writer I am now compared the one who drafted Trust in the Forgotten in 2016. I was sickly then, but now my health is better than it’s been in a decade. It’s another example of me facing a moment that was to either crumble or find a way to fight through adversity.
Yet again, I chose to fight.
What’s different this time is that, instead of reacting to events happening to me, I’ll be making choices that will plot my course. You can’t begin to imagine what a huge change that is. It’s also unfamiliar and, at times, bewildering.
Childhood was a hellscape that left me broken, traumatized, and unprepared for, well, anything. Instead, I denied my wounds and my worth. Returning to school to earn a bachelor’s degree, though, woke me up. In its aftermath, I returned to writing—and promptly lost a decade of my life, first to facing my denials, and then fighting illness along with incompetent and prejudiced doctors.
You can find it all in the poetry.
Emerging from that haze, I tried again. I returned to writing, found the true writer within, took the long view of my chosen career—and here I am. I’m a bit giddy and more than astounded at where I find myself, especially at this point in my life.
I’ve awoken to a view of possibilities while sitting on a mountain of writing. When I complete this novel in December there’ll be eleven. Yes, eleven. There are also all the short stories, novelettes, novellas, and the anthology I had to set aside when it was time to plan for Nov-Dec drafting.
I’m discovering that I became a full-time writer in 2020. I’m also discovering that I’m not getting any younger.
My long view is now coupled with a renewed sense of urgency. No excuses. I enjoy revising, but I’m not fast at it. In 2022 I’ll have to take that skill up several notches. At least now, in regards to the series, I won’t be hampered by the question marks the later books represented. Drafting these two has brought so much more into focus.
A difficult life was difficult to overcome, but it also fueled my writing. Time has given me perspective. After so many decades, it’s finally, finally time for me to realize the dream.
No, the dream isn’t insane sales and becoming a household name, it’s about what turned it all around for me: resolve that’s evolved into purpose. The books aren’t the purpose, the purpose is in their content. Sharing these stories will maybe, just maybe, make that possible for others, too.