In 2010, I set myself to start writing this story idea I had a long time ago during National Novel Writing Month. I finished–not very brilliantly, but I finished. And then, during the first week post-NaNoWriMo, I decided I wouldn’t go back to the story. Better to get out while it was early, so to speak.
Two things changed my mind:
Around the same time, I saw Amos at the office pantry and we caught up and talked about my NaNoWriMo experience. He seemed so genuinely enthused, and interested in the story, and told me stuff that I knew but needed to be reminded of, like that I just needed to have a breather and step back from the story after that mad rush. And so I told myself that I’d give myself that breather and go back to my draft.
Well, so much for that, it was December, I went back to the Philippines for a vacation, there were such a lot of things going on (including machine hiccups, like the battery bloating like a damn balloon) that I never got any writing done.
While in the Philippines though, I was browsing in Powerbooks while waiting for a couple friends when I came across this poster promoting a writer and a book: Samantha Mae Coyiuto’s Flight to the Stars and Other Stories. She was (is) 16 years old, and it was already her fourth book, having started writing since she was six.
I wasn’t very different from that girl. I started when I was seven, I also drew the illustrations for the “self-published” (read: home printer, felt paper cover = win!) short story, and I also wrote short stories. I did not have any mentors until I was well into high school, but I had the support of my family. I was happy for her at the same time that I felt a pang of regret that I let myself be sidetracked.
Because that’s what it is: I let myself be distracted by other things. Up to now, yes. It’s not anyone else’s fault but my own.
So this year, in 2011, I will pick up my NaNo novel and work with it, and get to at least a fourth draft by the end of the year. I need to stop letting distraction, and my fear of failure, to get in the way of getting this done. Is it going to be a good story? Who knows. But that’s exactly it: no one, not even me, will ever know, unless I try.