Finding My Way

You would think that after many years of teaching writing to students that writing a novel would be easy. It is not! I have the ideas, but ideas are not enough.

November is National Novel Writing Month and there is a site called NaNoWriMo which is a great place for aspiring writers. I have tried it two years in a row. Basically, you write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words in a month. You write at your own pace, and there are many types of support available. Reaching the goal is easier said than done.

I was successful both times. During the process, I found that there are two types of writers. Some writers need the outline and characters all figured out before they start. I admire them, but that is not me.

I am what other writers call a panster. When I write a novel I get up each morning and just start writing. I have an idea what I want the story to be about, but I let the story lead me. It is an amazing feeling because I get so into the story that I have to keep writing to see what happens to my own characters.

For me, the two novels I have written in that are in draft form have come from the experiences of my life. Not all of them are good, but getting them on paper is like therapy. Writing helps reach inside myself and pull out all those memories that I have stuffed way deep inside.

Retirement can be a time for a sharing of memories or passing on those family stories that will be lost if not written down.

There is a writer in all of us. Whether it is the family recipes, or that family genealogy.

Now, the next step for me is the hardest – editing. I am learning how to do that. What a process! But I believe in my stories and am committed to seeing my books in print someday. Time to get back to work.