What comes next?

Now that I’ve done NaNoWriMo, and won, I am back to being as excited about writing as I used to be, back before I got a degree in English Lit with professors that stifled my personal creative voice. Not all of my professors did, but more than I would have expected. Putting myself in a situation where I had to write with reckless abandon, and no editing, made me feel so free with my writing. I didn’t have to worry what a teacher would think, how I would be graded, if I had enough information to support my point of view, or if I had used enough literary devices. I could just write for my own pleasure, knowing I can edit it all later.

I have written a few things since graduating with that B.A., but I do mean FEW. And far between. And nothing even CLOSE to 50k. Let’s count, shall we? I finished undergrad in December 2003, but the last short story I wrote was in the Spring of ’03. After that I spent two years in grad school, which is still no excuse for a lack of creative writing. It wasn’t until June ’06 that I wrote another story, and that was 3222 words. Then in September ’06 I wrote a based-on-real-life, idealized picture of my potential future (my boyfriend, who is now my fiance, and I wrote stories with that concept as a way of showing how we each thought the future could be). If that counts, since it is ficional, that’s another 2379. That is less than 6k for 2006, which is better than 0k in the previous two and a half years or so.

For someone who dreams of being a published-author/stay-at-home-mom, that’s pretty sad.

But now that I’ve written 50k in three weeks, I’m excited about writing again. I have taken time off from writing since I finished my novel, and I won’t be editing it until NaNoEdMo in March 2008. But I’m ready to start planning my next novel, and I’ve decided to participate in JanNoWriMo, which is like NaNo but takes place in January. This time I want to use characters and storylines from two related short stories I’ve written, and combine them and elaborate and make them into one complete storyline. I absolutely love the characters and always thought “one day I will turn these into a novel.” Well, NaNoWriMo purports to do away with the “one day novelist,” so I’ve decided that one day will come in January.

My 2008 New Year’s Resolution will be to write a novel of at least 50k in January, and one in November, and one other month. I will start editing in March, and continue that as necessary throughout the year. By November 1, 2008 at the latest, I want my ’07 NaNo novel to be edited enough that I can start looking for an agent so I can try to get it published. If the other novel is edited enough for that too, that’s just gravy. Lofty goals? Perhaps. But I have succeeded in my first NaNoWriMo. I know that there is no limit to what I can accomplish if my mind is set. If I am determined, I can do anything. Give me a lever and I can move the world. Give me a month and I can write a novel. Give me a year, and there’s no telling what I can do.