not a writer

I always considered myself a writer of some sort. I have fond memories of times when we had to do creative writing in primary school and even in high school when we got to choose between a creative writing and an analytical task in English exams, I always chose the creative writing one. It came easy to me and also the teacher had problems to objectively evaluate the content which usually meant an easier grade.

I have notebooks filled with my scribblings from school, a dozen story drafts and a couple of, at best, mediocre short stories that go with my crappy poetry. I haven’t finished writing a story in years so I am currently re-evaluating my status as a writer.

It’s not that I don’t want to write, it’s more that I don’t know what to write; I don’t have a story that’s spilling out of me, there is nothing I need to write down. I don’t sacrifice sleep for writing a story or any such things a true writer does. So can I still consider myself a writer?

I am not entirely sure to be honest. (This is like an unplanned new feature, things I thought I was but am not, or something like that.)

November is coming up which means NaNoWriMo, a thing I haven’t participated in but have heard about a lot before. Prior to securing my job, I thought I was definitely going to do it this year but now that my job starts in November I am not sure if that’s such a smart idea. I do want to try, after all NaNo is more about quantity instead of quality. Since I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago I actually found something I want to write about. If it’s enough for 50,000 words in 30 days is a question unanswerable by me at the moment. I guess all I can do is try and see where this takes me.

I knew that the fact that I was still thinking about NaNo probably meant that I actually wanted to do it so I signed up. My username, as almost everywhere else on the interwebs, is WillieSun. If you’re participating as well, feel free to add me as a writing buddy.

Now, I cannot say if this makes me a writer. What does make someone a writer? Being published? – That would exclude a lot of people. This is going to drift into narcissism land so be advised, I always had this idea of myself as being some kind of genius. I have super high expectations when it comes to certain things in my life which is why I was never satisfied in school and uni. I always thought I had to score better than I actually did. Now, I’m a smart cookie but I’ve been saying goodbye to this idea about myself for a while now. I am not some genius, not with math and science nor with writing. But that’s okay, right? Not everyone can be the next John Green or Emily Dickinson. As long as I enjoy doing it (and it being writing in this case), that’s all that matters.

Like I said, I haven’t written much in recent years, somehow my engineering degree was not that inspiring. The last thing I managed to finish is this ‘gem’ *ahem* please don’t laugh too hard about this.

will you

And who knows, maybe NaNo will break something loose in me, maybe I’ll find my story, or not, but I will never know unless I tried. So that’s what I’ll do. In the end, if it turns out I can’t do it, maybe this irrational dream of mine can finally die in peace.

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  • Tim

    I’m excited to hear you’re doing NaNoWriMo! It was legitimately one of the best writing/blogging experiences I’ve ever done.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Good to know, I sure am looking forward to it as I have never done such a thing. The 50,000 words mark seems like a LOT to me.

      • Tim

        You know, I thought the same thing when I started, only to realize I went way over the 50,000 word goal (I ended with just over 61,000 words). If you have an idea for a story, as well as a rough plan of what will happen in the story, you’ll find that those words will come to you much easier.

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          That’s what I’m hoping for. I still have some planning to do but I also have to prepare the blog for November…

          • Tim

            Not sure if it’s an option for you, however I chose to post my NaNoWriMo story as I wrote it on my blog (it’s still up, though password protected, if you’d like to read it). Not only did it give me a tangible way to keep track of my writing, the comments I got from others gave me motivation to keep going. Plus, it gives you blog content for a month.

          • Wilhelmina Upton

            That’s an interesting idea, not sure if I’ll actually do it but maybe. I am going to keep the Disney posts up though, because they’re easily pre-parable for me. Not sure if I can come up with much more than that but at least it means this blog is not entirely dead. Maybe I will post story updates once or twice a week… Thanks a lot for the tip.

  • Vanessa

    That NaNoWriMo thing sounds cool, I’d love to read whatever you do end up contributing. And your poem’s good!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Thanks. Good to know, maybe you will end up reading whatever comes out of this thing because if I finish, I’ll need someone to read it and tell me what they think of it. And you just volunteered for that, hehehehe.

  • MikaelShort

    So glad you’re gonna do NaNoWriMo! We must do sprints together or at least be each other’s cheerleaders!
    We can do it!
    And I love your poem. I found it to be quite lyrical. If you wanted, you could turn it into a song. ;)

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I could never turn that thing into a song, I don’t know anything about that, ha but I’m glad you liked it.

      Yes, we’re going to cheer each other on!! I’m not that prepared but then again, I was never prepared for any exam at uni, at least not as prepared as I could have been, hehe.

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  • cupitonians

    This poem is amazing! Like Mikael said, it could be a song! So sigh worthy!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      D’awwwww, thanks :)