I hate telling stories verbally. It makes me doubt my ability as a writer, my sense of story pacing, and my overall command of language every time the person I’m telling a story to gets that far off look on their face. I’m not blaming anyone, I’m sure I make the same face as well, even if I’m absorbing every word that is said. It’s one of those annoying insecurities that I guess many writers have, but whenever I tell a story longer than a few sentences I always feel like the listeners are politely waiting for me to finish, and I end up rushing to the conclusion just so I can stop talking and pass the center of attention to someone else. And I hate that.
Most who know me know that this hatred of mine doesn’t impede my ability to talk people’s ears off at all. I heroically put my insecurities aside to tell you about that one thing from my childhood for what must be the third time. You’re welcome.
But, in all seriousness, for all the dislike I hold towards being the center of attention, public speaking, and the look that comes over people’s faces that I always interpret to mean “Is this story ever going somewhere?”, it increases my love for the written word tenfold. I suppose it can be taken as some kind of social commentary, but I really do feel so much better and at ease behind a computer screen, or in a notebook. Those who have talked to me over the blargosphere probably already know that I can go on for hours at a time, talking about inconsequential things or my newest novel idea. It’s hard to have that kind of enthusiasm in real life, when your audience is staring you down and wondering why they can’t just skip ahead a few paragraphs and get to the humerus conclusion they pray is stored at the end of this. (For those wondering, I also hate telling lengthy jokes.) But on paper, behind a screen, all of that is gone and all that’s left is you and your brain and your ideas, and possibly some poor soul you’ve got trapped on the other side who’s commenting in with “yep” or “that’s interesting”. Perhaps I’m just too self-centered to get a grasp on normal socially-acceptable storytelling.
But this brings me to my point. NaNoWriMo starts today, and 50K words are going to get written by Nov. 30th towards a novel. Or at least they’re really, really going to try.
National Novel Writing Month is something I always try for, but give up within the first few days. What makes this year different? Well, for one, I have a story. I live alone with little social interaction (usually), and my sleep schedule recently has dropped to an unhealthy 6 hours a night, but this does mean that I have 2 extra hours to write during. I made a schedule, I’ve got an outline, a plot, and a cast of characters. In short, this year I’m prepared. And this year, hopefully, I’ll win.
And then I can finally give up on telling stories verbally all together, and just hand people a nice (hopefully, eventually) published book with my face on the back cover and say “This is way more interesting than anything I’m about to say to you. Trust me.”
So, this tumblr blog? Will probably be more of a blog than a sketchblog for the next month. I’ll likely put most artistic things aside so all my free time can actually be spent writing.
Are any of you doing NaNoWriMo? Strength and motivation in numbers! Schedules are best kept by guilt, so if you want to work something out that allows us to motivate each other (or, again, guilt each other into writing more), then I’m always up for it. And good luck to all attempting this, and all writers in general!
Also, this post could’ve easily been called “Best Reason Why I Make a Terrible Bard but a Fantastic Wizard”.