How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
That quote has both inspired and scared me for years. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, as I’ve been finishing up some little things, completing a small writing project prior to the Big November Challenge.
You know, sometimes I wonder if I’m really a writer. This isn’t the place to pop into the comment box and give me a pat on the shoulder; I’m not looking for that, but thanks. It’s just me talking.
I answer 911 to pay the bills. I drive dogs around. I vacuum. I watch Project Runway. Is that how I’m spending my life? Do I write? I babble here, and I publish random articles in random magazines, but really, writing? What I call myself, do I deserve to give myself that label?
But I was futzing around online — I want to write and store my NaNoWriMo novel somewhere online, so I can access it from wherever I am — and I was playing with applications. I used older documents to test the apps out. I happened to check word counts.
NaNoWriMo’s goal is a novel of 50,000 words completed in 30 days. That’s a short novel, to be sure. But that’s what they’ve defined their novel to be.
The two documents I pulled up? One is the Long Work, that’s been in the pipes for years now. That one was 149,000 words (it’s been THIS close to being finished for so long). The Short Thing I’ve been playing with for a little while now, that was already at 38,000 words. So in terms of the NaNo word-count, that’s about three and a half novels. Sure, neither are done, and neither are published, and I’m not sure either ever will be. Doesn’t really matter that much, honestly.
It’s really that they’re there, you know? That these two alternate worlds are in my computer (and backed up, yes) and in my head, that I can drop into them, and it’s like they exist. I can picture my character’s living rooms. Their hair in the mornings. What they order at the coffee-shop. Who they miss.
That’s writing. I guess I’ve been writing. I’m happy about that. It’s kind of strange how much better seeing word-counts made me feel. Writing doesn’t weigh much in your hands. It certainly doesn’t pay. It’s hard to prove. But word-counts don’t lie. I guess I have been writing. Yay.
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