It's New Year's Eve day, and I'm sitting here in my lumpish oatmeal colored cardigan, drinking coffee and thinking to myself, "Self, you must be nuts." A novel? I want to write a novel?!
Yes. I want to write a novel.
I'm not sure I even know where this want came from, but I have it. Really, it's more than want. It feels like need. I need to write. After going years without doing so, and finding my way back, I write because I need to, because it makes me feel complete.
I've always been a writer in some fashion, even when I didn't write. I think I was thirteen the first time I wrote 'a book.' It was horrible drivel, with the main character named Sunny Summers. I might have been in my I hate being a redhead, why can't I be blonde phase. For the record, most redheads do not make good blondes. I know. I tried.
I wrote poetry in high school that if I read now, I would cringe. I wrote long winded love letters in my early twenties to my then boyfriend/ now husband. I wrote silly, ranting blog posts when I discovered MySpace. And while there were droughts in between, where I would go a year or more without writing, I always came back to it because it is home for me in a lot of ways.
Over the last eighteen months, writing short (and sometimes far too long) stories, has given me back my passion for writing. The experience of creating something with nothing more than my own words is unlike anything else. I raise my children with my hands and my heart. I love my husband to the depths of my soul. I keep my arms full of my friends and my family. But when I write, when I take the contents of my brain and make them into something... I feel a different sense of accomplishment, one that I've grown to love and need and crave.
So why a novel? I certainly don't have the time. There's a very good chance I'll never make any money at this. I have a history of starting things and not finishing them. And I find myself with writer's block on a very regular basis. So why?
I don't know.
So that when I'm old and grey, or old and not grey because I'm a habitual hair color changer with a great stylist, I can say 'I wrote a book once.' So I can say to my kids 'you can do anything you want, be anything you want, make every dream you have come true' and really mean it because I had a dream and I did it. So that I can call myself a novelist, even if that comes with a disclaimer like unpublished or amateur.
Richard Bach said "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit."
Smart guy. Let's see if he's right.
So I'm ready. I'm going to write a novel. Will anyone read it?