Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Writer's Introduction

It seems to me that there is no advisable way to begin a blog. I mean, everyone uses a blog for different purposes, so deciding on one set format defeats the purpose. As such, I am at something of a loss of how to begin, so please bear with me.

I am one of the older members of Generation Y. I remember - though it's hard to believe - a time before the internet existed in every home and the average eight-year-old carried an iPhone. I remember those days with longing you have to understand, because life was a great deal less...public than it is now. So why create a public blog? Despite the fact that I remember DOS based programs and that some of my earliest technological memories were fiddling with ancient Mac computers in the days before Microsoft owned the world, I love technology. I adore the simple fact that I can interact -in real time - with my friends half way around the world. I'm obsessed with online MBs and social media sites. I am, there can be no doubt, a TwitterHolic. I have embraced the modern digital age with all the energy of today's eight-year-old iPhoners.

For example, I have had a blog in the form of a LiveJournal for the better part of eight years. I was heavily involved in message boards at the tender age of twelve before the parental terror of child pornos and kidnappers lurking in the background ever became an issue. I tweet from my phone. I update my Facebook profile more than once a day. And, having attempted on more than one occasion to do without the internet for a few days, have ultimately concluded I'd rather die. Like the rest of Generation Y, the lack of internet is, in a sense, a loss of part of our indentity and we never feel completely whole until we have it back again.

So, this morning I woke up with the hairbrained scheme of creating a proper blog for some purpose or other. At first, that purpose altogether escaped me. I have an LJ, which is used for such childish purposes as ranting about work, school and those friends who are not on LJ. I have an FB profile to tell all of my friends who could care less that I am still unemployed. And I have a Twitter account in order to regale my very small corner of the Twitterverse with museum related posts and - currently - an endless stream of declarations of tears over the 2010 Olympic Games. I should, at this juncture, point out that the tears are those of happiness over being a proud Canadian.

But, after a few hours of careful (not) consideration, I have decided to use this blog for one main purpose; which is to write about writing. As a currently unemployed-in-my field graduate, housesitting for my parents, and spending my evenings bemoaning the fact that I left my entire social life in England four months ago, I have reached a point in my life where I have time to write. I've been writing since I was twelve. I have dabbled (and plunged) into multiple fictional universes almost entirely not of my own creation and have emerged on the other side fifteenish years later with the ability to type 75 words a minute and write an entire essay on virtually no research. These are the two most useful skills for a person who survived seven years of university education and a rough estimate of fourty 2K+ essays and two 13K+ dissertations.

The following sentence is my only explanation for why, in October 2009, faced with no essays for the first time in memory, that I attempted and completed NaNo. That is, for the uninitiated, National Writing Month. It is an international challange to creative writers to write a 50,000+ novel within the thirty days of November. Last year, nearly 150,000 people participated. To win, all you have to do is reach 50K by the end of November 30th. At a total, on the last day, of 53,000 words I can count the adventure a success. The fact that the completed novel is now 67,000 words and still counting (editing) seems only an added mark of congratulations. But, having succeeded once I am determinted to do so again.

This year, I am beginning from scratch. NaNo 2009 was written with a complete novel idea that had been running around in my brain fully formed for the better part of two years and all I had to do was allow my fast typing fingers to dictate from my brain to the laptop in the span of four weeks. This year, I find myself devoid of any idea of any level of interest. The ultimate purpose of this blog is to work through the bad ideas for short stories to arrive - by October 2010 - at a good idea for a novel. It is also a way for me to document how I write, having never paid much attention at all to this topic before. I am one of those people who just writes - as this blog will have so far told you - and, if in the mood, deals with the editing later. More often then not, most things never get edited. I believe that a person does everything best the first time and further repetition will not make it better. Do it right the first time, yes?

Therefore, my project for this year, in the eight and a half months until NaNo 2010, is to document the creation of an idea; the planning of chapters and plot; and finally, to document how I write at the end of it.

Interspersed with these artistic ramblings will probably be the occasion career furthering project and - hopefully - a document of my own endevours to make my local museum a place worth visiting, just to keep things interesting.

I hope you join me for the ride.