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Why We Write… Or Rather Why I Write

When I started this blog, I had no idea what direction it would take, or if I’d even enjoy writing on a consistent basis to keep going.

Most of the time I’m still not sure what I want to get out of sharing my musings with the world, but just knowing that someone out there might be reading what I’ve said and either takes something away from my thoughts, or wants to start a conversation based on the topic I’ve presented just makes me feel good inside.

Sometimes I’ll find that I’m not in the mood to write anything, but at others will have so many ideas running through my head that it makes it a challenge to pick just one. The most frustrating is when I’ll be in the process of writing something that I think is pretty worthwhile, and out of nowhere a completely different idea will root itself in my head and the only thing I can do is commit those thoughts to paper (or to a doc file on my computer) before I can move on and focus on my original plan.

Those times when I’m struck with an idea that must be written out and explored are wonderful, and I always tend to take more away from that kind of writing experience over the ones where I’ve meticulously planned out an idea to the point where it almost seems forced.

While sitting in front of my computer typing out my thoughts, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself, things that are both good and bad. Some revelations I’m willing to share with the world (such as my list of strange confessions or fears), while others are so private that I’m not even really comfortable going back and reading those words myself, let alone sharing such private thoughts with the rest of the world.

For me, writing is a release, and when I’m in the mood for creative writing, it’s a way for me to create my own world to escape to. I read a lot of books (I try to finish at least one a week when I can), and while it’s great seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, I also enjoy picturing my own worlds and then trying to capture the wonderful imagery in words that I can share with others.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I started discussing a writing project he’s been working on, and over the course of our discussions I was inspired to set some new goals for myself for writing.

My friend’s goal is just to finish his novel in a year, which is great, but I know if I gave myself such a long deadline I’d wait until the last-minute and rush to finish my own project, only to be disappointed when I realize I’ve written something not worth sharing.

Instead of a year deadline, I’ve decided that I’m going to get myself in gear and finish my own version of a first novel with a time limit of 60 days or 2 months. Right now, the plan is to figure out some general ideas of where I want the story that’s been rattling around my head for ages to go, and hopefully be able to start cranking out pages worth reading by April 1.

The absolute latest I will let myself be finished with the first draft is my birthday (June 3 in case anyone is curious or needs reminding), and if I can finish in time, being able to say I’ve accomplished this task will be a present of sorts to myself.

When I shared my timeline with my friend, he decided that to help keep me on task and motivated that he would alter his personal deadline  and take on my writing challenge.

For the first time in what feels like forever, I’m excited to get back to the story I started in hopes of writing a novel. When it’s finished, it might be the most terrible thing ever written, and I’m already accepting that outcome, but I’ll never know until I try. And, who knows, maybe it won’t be completely sucky and could actually have potential to be published one day (most likely with a lot of editing)?

There’s no time like the present to start working on things I’ve been putting off, so I challenge you dear readers, think about something you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t taken the time or effort to actually do it yet. Can you set up your own 2 month deadline?

Feel free to share your ideas or plans, and I’d be happy to challenge you or help keep you motivated to stay on goal, too. 🙂

Edit: I should have mentioned earlier, but part of my inspiration for a 2 month deadline came from the gauntlet laid down last springby my friend Jamey to finish his own novel.

Responses (3)

  1. That’s awesome! As you know, I’m a strong advocate of the two-month gauntlet. Good luck!

    • Katy says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you said “gauntlet,” since I couldn’t think of that word last night when I was writing. I might have to go back and link to your gauntlet post from last year. 🙂

  2. […] few months ago I decided to challenge myself to finish a novel I had started a while back. I set a deadline of 60ish days, and had high hopes that not only would […]

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