Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.

Hello world, indeed. It’s time for blogging.

I’ve never had a long running blog before- most of them have only made it to about three or four entries before collapsing miserably into themselves, long forgotten and leaving my e-mail accounts spammed and useless. I am constantly sent reminders of half-finished posts, words that I had just begun to get to know, and sordid love affairs with themes and styles and stories that ended rather messily.

Yet—dare I say it now? Gasp! – I am ready to commit.

I have finally decided to actively pursue my dreams of becoming a published, happy, and profitable writer.

No, that’s fine. I can wait for you to finish applauding.

I know, I know. “Allaya, what took you so long? You’re so good! Why haven’t you written anything before this? I’ve been starving, malnourished by the literary world, and only your book/blog/awkwardly constructed refrigerator magnet poem can save me!”

Dear reader, I am sorry beyond mere words.

Two things have revitalized my determination, and awakened by belief in myself, and in my dreams.

The first, naturally, was NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it is affectionately dubbed, is a month long noveling challenge in which I and several thousand like-minded (read: crazy) people undertake the insane, hair-raising, and utterly ecstatic experience of writing a completely original 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The challenge is generally commenced in November, and the goal is to complete your novel by midnight on the last day of the month. This year, I penned the fifty-thousandth word and claimed its mighty powers for my own at approximately ten p.m. on November 30th (my awesome older sister’s birthday, coincidentally).

(The fifty-thousandth word was “into,” for anyone who was curious).

Prior to hearing about, signing up, attempting, failing, trying again, and ultimately winning NaNoWriMo, what I believed was that although I enjoy writing and love to read, there was absolutely no effing way that I was going to make a living as a professional writer. I knew— just knew— that I would never be able to write enough, good enough, consistently enough, to pay my bills as a writer.

What NaNo taught me was this; if I can write a novel in thirty days, I can write enough to produce some awesome, if not aggressively passable work. And if I can do that, even just three or four times a year, I can be a full time, working, eating novelist.

Besides, I’ve been broke. Hell, I am broke. And it’s not so bad.

Neither was my month long foray into noveling, by the way. It has surprised me by being considerably less horrific then I had originally projected.

The other thing that convinced me not to give up on myself or on my dreams was a recent interview that I had with a small, independent publishing company in Manhattan. I actually had debated pursuing the unpaid internship, because of my difficult financial situation, and almost didn’t attend the interview. I did, however, make up my mind to go, deciding that it would be worth it to keep my options open.

What I saw was amazing.

Imagine, if you will, a single, large room, filled with cubicles as far as your eyes can see. Everything is coated in a sickly shade of green. You are sure that there are people there, but you cannot see any of them, except for one really cute guy.

There are books, papers and computers covering every square surface. The place is a complete mess. And yet, you can’t stop smiling. No, it’s not because of the lurking opportunity to make other people feel bad about not being as organized as you are. It’s not even the thought of all that paper, a match, and a sizable insurance policy.

No, it’s the smell of books in the air. Raw, dripping, and unpublished.

Indecent, isn’t it?

That’s exactly how I felt, sitting in that publishing office. I only wish that I had managed to communicate that so gracefully. What came out was more like a dribble, and a general impression of a not entirely appropriate affection for bound paper.

I might have also given the impression that I wanted to live there.

Which is silly, of course. The rent in Manhattan is absurd.

What I did glean from the interview, outside of the fact that I glimpsed heaven in a loft that day, was that I seriously, seriously, love books. And that when I joke, saying that all I’m good at is reading and correcting other people, there may be a nook for me somewhere after all.

A huge, warm, papery nook.

Mmmm….

As I delve further into this literary adventure, I can only hope to be able to surprise and enlighten, and maybe even amuse you along the way. My first real order of business, aside from establishing my presence here on WordPress (yay!) is to come up with some writing samples so that I might find myself a job doing something I really love.

Watching reruns of Seinfeld.

So kidding about that part. Really.

By the way, for more information about writing a novel in 30 days, visit http://NaNoWriMo.com . And leave a small donation if you can so that they can continue to put awesome creative writing programs in schools.

Until we meet again, and happy trails,

Allaya

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