A couple of weeks ago, I challenged myself to write 500 words of fiction every day. Without anything in mind about what I wanted to write about, I assumed I would struggle. After five days, I should have written 2,000 words of fiction. I was actually at almost 3,000. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
I took Sophie Cliff’s advice (albeit she said it in regards to blogging) and started to make use of the dead time. Writing before work, in my lunch break and when I was settled down in bed before I went to sleep, I took every opportunity I had that week.
I guess it turns out I forgot how much I love writing.
There’s just something so wonderful about getting lost in a world of fiction. And I’ve been getting lost in a world of fiction ever since I was a child. Fuelled in my childhood by avid reading, writing stories is something I’ve always done, and my lifelong ambition has always been and will always be to publish a novel.
Writing is part of me; the imaginary consumes me. I have an immensely busy brain and it’s so embarrassingly cliche, but most of the time I’m in my own world. I’ve been caught, numerous times, staring off into space and asked, “where are you?”.
Someone (unknown) said: “Only a writer will hold conversations between people that don’t exist. We don’t talk to ourselves… we talk to the people we created from nothing.” I’m always writing stories in my head. Everyday. I’ve grown up with the characters I created and I know them like they are part of my family.
I find myself analysing overheard conversations, jotting down new words I’ve learned, running imaginary situations through my mind over and over again. I have countless ideas notebooks, several Pinterest mood boards, and I can draw inspiration from everywhere I go. It’s how I’ve always been, and I love it.
I took an English and Creative Writing degree at university purely because I didn’t have an inkling of a career choice and thought it better to study something I really enjoyed instead of something that was going to guarantee me a career. I fell head over heels in love with writing again in a deeper way, and my biggest achievement by far was that for my dissertation, I wrote an 80 minute film.
At the start of 2017, I set myself a goal to write 100,000 words of fiction within the year, and if I was still as motivated as I was when I was back at uni, then I probably would have smashed this goal in a couple of months. Back when I was unemployed, I made the most of alternating all the time I suddenly found myself with between rewriting my CV and applying for jobs, and reigniting my passion for writing. I attempted to bring to life a story idea I’ve had in my head for years in a screenplay, I wrote 6,500 words within a couple of days, but then I stopped and haven’t touched it much since.
But last week served as a little breakthrough for me. What I wrote, I am certain I will never use, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’ve remembered what my passions are; I’ve remembered what sets my soul on fire.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.” – Oscar Wilde. While admittedly I haven’t touched that piece of writing at all since, I found that I felt more and more inspired as the days went on. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I assumed I would struggle when I first started writing because I hadn’t written in so long. But I found the words and eventually I reminded myself how easily they come to me.
Today is the start of NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month where participants attempt to write a 50,000 word novel by the end of November. I’ll be taking part (under an alias!) and attempting to bring to life one of the novel ideas I’ve had waiting for years.
It’s time to put the contents of my busy, busy brain onto paper. Wish me luck!