Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

Well, this is me reporting live from my home in Ohio, where I am officially conceding defeat in NaNoWriMo 2002. My grand total for the year (so far) is just over 18,000 words, or fifty pages, but I still consider this whole experiment a fantastic victory. NaNoWriMo got me moving again on a project that had been stalled for way too long, and helped reinstall one of the core elements of my brain. I hadn't realized just how much I missed writing, and this allowed me to forge ahead with one of the most basic elements of being a writer: namely, overcoming the fear of writing badly. (I wound up putting Caliban back into the novel, by the way, because it turned out he was necessary after all. Insistent little bugger, that one.) I'm at a cliffhanger right now, which is cool, and I have a good idea about where I want part two to go.

So, yes. There's this line in that Josh Joplin CD I've been raving about, that says "We are ourselves, eventually, eventually, eventually." Eventually, the novel will be finished. I hope to even get it published. More importantly to myself, though, is that I feel like I'm finally back on track for this part of my life.

Word of advice to anyone out there: if you take a creative writing class in college, don't listen to the other kids. Don't even listen to the professors. Just use it as a chance to learn. If things come up that can be useful, learn them. Just don't let them convince you that what you're doing isn't worth doing. One of my teachers once sniffed that if you're writing something just because you want to read it, that's fine -- just don't expect anyone else to. This is bullshit. The first and most vicious critic of your own work is yourself. If you're writing, it's probably because you haven't found what you wanted to read yet, and felt compelled to write it yourself. That's great. If you enjoy reading what you're writing, if you find yourself typing to find out what happens, then people will most likely keep flipping pages for the same reason. And at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about?

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