When I was younger (middle and even through my early highschool years) I thought that I would be a writer when I grew up. I was always an avid reader adoring the times that we went to the library during class, and when the scholastic book fair was at our school! Let alone dying to drive across the bridge to the giant bookstore which I would inevitably use all the gift cards and then some for stacks and stacks of books.
During high school world history class I would write in my notebooks, one story specifically I wrote more that 200 handwritten pages for. Several friends in my group also wrote stories so we’d trade them and edit each other’s work. The summer after 10th grade I even went to a two week pre college program at Hollins University to and took a 2 week long class on “Politics in Literature” and “Creative Writing.” I loved it!
Then all of a sudden I just stopped writing. I didn’t even really notice it at first, not until I had graduated and realized that I’d spent so much time writing yet never finished any of my stories. I just got busy with classes, clubs, and a high school social life, and I had decided that I wanted to do Youth Ministry instead of writing books/ being an English teacher.
Earlier this month a friend of mine was saying how she wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who don’t know this is an event of month long writing. From Nov.1st till Nov.30th groups of people sit in libraries, cafes, or their home office and start from scratch to meet a 50,000 word count by midnight.
I’ve always wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo its just been the story of not having enough time, and for the past few years I’ve had classes to go to. However, this year I am in a unique position this year as I am currently unemployed with loads of free time on my hands and likely my internship won’t begin until December, maybe late November. I’ve been feeling discouraged not having a job to succeed at and feel good about myself on a fairly regular basis so I think participating in this could be really good for me. I am notorious about starting things but never finishing them. I started so many stories and would start the sequels before I ever got anywhere near to completing the first story.
In deciding to participate I immediately hit the road block of “what on earth do I write about?” I looked back at all my old stories and felt embarrassed by their lack of originality and the flat prose. I realized that I wanted to keep it simple. I didn’t want to create a new fantasy world because that involves a lot of work, creativity, and details. Plus, every fantasy oriented idea that I came up with I recognized a movie or book with that plot the next second in evaluating the idea.
Then, I thought maybe I should try to write something fan fiction oriented where I could just write and not have to develop the characters or the universe. I realized that Disney Princesses/Fairytale princesses would be the fan fiction that I would most be able to write. My internship should be starting soon, so I need to be studying anything counseling related in preparation. Suddenly, an idea was born. What if the Disney princesses had their happily ever afters and then real life happened and they weren’t happy anymore? How would they handle that? What would happened if they went to Group Counseling together?
The working title is “Disenchanted” and it is about 5-6 fairytale princesses types who are real people in our world and how they struggle with their lives. For example, Talia met her husband while role playing as “Briar Rose.” When he rescued her from a fire breathing dragon in the online virtual world it was love at first sight. But now marriage and 2 children later she’s not so sure that she has her happy ending and she wants her fairytale.
The purpose of this story is really about exploring the ideas of what brings happiness. Is it about getting those fairytale endings? How can we experience more acceptance, happiness, and joy with the realities of everyday life? I’m really excited to see how this unfolds! Despite that making my characters go to counseling means ton of detailed character development in preparation.
The hardest part of this endeavor, besides completing the 50,000 word count challenge, will be not editing myself throughout the way. However, this is all the more reason why I think its really necessary for me.
I’m really looking forward to the write-in that I’ll be having with my friends the first weekend of NaNoWriMo to get our word counts off to a great start!
You can stay up to date with my progress through my username Ciao_Erin at nanowrimo.org, but it’ll also be posted in a picture widget on the side of the blog!