For the last two years, since my family and I made the move from Canada to England, I have been absorbed in working in my role as a tax accountant, and studying for my tax designation. Add to that the stress of settling in a new country and the busyness of being a mom to two young boys and I have often felt that my life was lived for me, not by me.
Then I found out about NaNoWriMo and I remembered, from times long ago, that I loved to write. And I thought it was time I do something I really enjoy. I was not sure I was even able to write anymore, but I was determined to give it a go. I wrote my exams in the beginning of November and managed to write 75,000 words during the month of November, winning NaNoWriMo. I finished writing the rest of the novel in December.
I found out that I was still able to write. Not only that, I tremendously enjoyed the plotting, outlining and writing process. To be busy with something other than numbers and figures. To go back to my “roots” of language and literature. To go back to being myself. That is how it felt to write my book, and I am very grateful that I committed myself to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. It brought a piece of my own identity back to me. It prevented me from losing myself in all the other roles I need to fulfill in my life.
And now I have a book, and the editing process has begun. And this is where I find out I am not such an amazing writer after all. The plot is all right, the characters are fine, but the writing needs a lot of polishing and a lot of – well, rewriting really. And I begin to doubt that it will ever be in a good enough shape to be published. Considering it is my very first book, that is not an unreasonable doubt.
Will that mean the end of my writing aspirations? Will I be a failure if I do not publish this book? Absolutely not. I don’t write for fame or riches. I write to stay sane. And I plan to write another book when the next NaNoWriMo comes around in November. Just for the sheer enjoyment of writing again.
Because I am a writer.