Taking the Plunge

I have been writing a lot lately about how the characters of certain Sci/Fi captains shape the fiction they are they are in, and really all around us.  I will continue on that theme in the next few weeks but I want to take a short break from that and talk about actually writing.

I have been writing since I was about 14.  At that point I wrote an adventure story with epic consequences.  Not that the story was really epic, just that writing that story would change my life forever.  From the first day that I started working on that story, I knew that I wanted to be a writer.

Now some 20 plus odd years on I am still in that mode. I know that I want to be a writer.  But how exactly do I do that?  The answer is so glaringly obvious that I often forget it.  It is not new, and I know you have heard it to.  The answer, how do you become a writer?  You get out there and write.

Why am I telling you something you already know.  Well that is simple.  This last year I seemed to have forgotten that little bit of advice.  I had plenty of excuses, the kids, work, traveling and whatever else I can think of.  But the truth is that I was doing all of those things before, and I was still writing all the time.  So basically I had forgotten that little bit of wisdom.  I figured that if I could forget it, so could you.  Since I was reminding myself I would remind you too.
It is all well and good to say, hey you need to write to be a writer, it is another thing entirely to do it.  Carving out that block of time everyday to just sit down and write can be very difficult.  Hey I know, after almost three years of writing nearly everyday, I stopped for over a year, and all it took was, well I guess I don’t need to write today.

But that is all coming to and end.  This year once again I am going to participate in the insanity that is NaNoWriMo (national novel writers month.)  This will be the fourth year for me doing it, and in that time I have only met the goal of 50,000 words one time.  But truth be told every year I have done it I have counted myself a winner.  The reason is that it meant I was doing what I have wanted to do since I was a kid, I was being a writer.

So once again I take the plunge, and hope that this year, like the first year I participated, that it can kick me in the pants, and get me writing again.  I don’t want to just do NaNoWriMo every year.  As a writer I follow on twitter recently said, NaNoWriMo is all well and good but if you want to be a writer, it need to be NaNoWriLife, and that is the ultimate goal.

Jeff Hite is an editor and one of the co founders of Flying Island Press. He lives with is lovely wife , 9 kids, a dog and a varying number of chickens (usually less than 20) in Upstate NY. During the day you can find him with his head deep in a computer, and during the evening, when he is not writing stories, elbow deep in his family.

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