Have you heard of Dear Teen Me? It’s a website where authors write letters giving their younger selves the advice they wished they’d had at the time. It even became a book that has letters from more than 70 writers.
If you could talk to your younger self, would you? I’m not sure; the person I’ve become is an accumulation of all the things that I did and didn’t do in the last
This week, they’ve got a post by me up wherein I try to give my 13-year-old self some advice. Yeah, as if I’d listen to anyone when I was 13. Okay, so not much has changed; and your point is?
Anyway, go check it out, if for no other reason than you can see a photo of me when I was 17 in my high school cap and gown—you can see the small version off to the side here, but you’ll have to click through to Dear Teen Me to see the full horror—lordy, do I look ridiculous. (Again, not much has changed.) But! While you’re there you should also take a look at the other letters, which include one by my editor, Greg Herren. I think we’ve both gotten better with age.
So, the goal of Nanowrimo is to write 50,000 words (the equivalent of a short novel) during the month of November. At the moment, though, I couldn’t tell you how many words I’ve written.
That’s because I’m writing this novel longhand, for the most part. I have a vast stockpile of notebooks, notepads, journals, and super-fancy-looking books that have been accumulating for, well, for years. I’m really eager to use some of them, especially this blue one with the brocade fabric cover and the cord closure which was a gift from my mother (whose birthday was last Tuesday—hi, Mom). I have a shelf in the spare bedroom (one of these days I’ll actually have a home office, but I’m not holding my breath) that contains all of the journals and notebooks that I’ve scribbled thoughts and minutiae in over the past twenty-odd years—I don’t think there’s anything from high school in there, but some from my first undergrad experience are in the pile.
The one I’m using right now is similar to the old-school composition books that I used to use in high school. It was given to me by Mimi, a paper vendor I used to work with in my old job BGS (Before Grad School). When I told her what I was going to be doing, she loaded me down with notepads, papers samples, and notebooks so that I wouldn’t have to buy any. Her excitement about my return to higher education rivaled my own; if you’re lucky, you encounter such people in your life.
Anyway, I have a feeling that I’m going to fall short of the 50,000-word threshold for “winning” Nanowrimo, but I’m okay with that. I’m a slow writer. I’m writing anywhere from 3 to 5 pages a day in the notebook, and that’s more than I might have had if I didn’t have this to kick-start me.