About seven years ago a good friend invited me to attend the California Writers’ Club, Tri-valley branch. I attended the meetings once a month and heard published authors speak about how to build a story. Sometimes the enormity of what I wanted to do overwhelmed me. However, I joined a short story critique group and to my dismay realized I had much to learn. Determined, I continued.
Approximately six years ago, I learned about NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writers’ Month, held in November every year. Suddenly, I felt inspired to write the challenge of a 50,000 word novel in one month. If you’re a writer, you know that’s a daunting task. I thought of a vague storyline, but something was missing.
In a dream my mother said, “You need a plot.” My mother had died in mid-October and this message seemed surreal. She didn’t know I wanted to write a novel. I traveled to our vacation home on the coast and started the journey on November 1st. With my hands poised on the keys of my laptop I was ready to start. What to say? A few words came, and then more. As I wrote, inspiration struck me and the plot came to mind.
About mid-way through the writing of the novel, my laptop died. Frantic, I called my husband. I thought he might know how to revive my computer or at least advise me to get a new one. I couldn’t reach him. I left a voicemail message and waited a while. Time passed and I decided to take the plunge. I drove to the nearest COSTCO about eighty miles away and purchased another laptop.
After I returned, I realized I didn’t have a copy of what I wrote previously. However, I had emailed one copy to my husband, and he sent that back to me. I also learned a lesson – have a back-up plan.
When I didn’t know what to write next, I paced the floor or looked out the window at the ocean or took a walk. I’d return to my computer and continue. Even though we observed the Thanksgiving holiday, I finished the first draft of my novel. I uploaded it to the NaNoWriMo site two days ahead of time and received my certificate. Excitement filled me. I decided to call myself a writer.