Who am I and why am I here?

No, I don’t mean this philosophically; despite having a post titled “Introductions” and an About Me page, I remain something of a stranger here. Let’s have a real introduction, shall we?

My name is Lukas Rowland and I am a writer. I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I have scribbled them out on paper, I have typed them up on my mother’s typewriter; we even had a word processor before we had a proper computer. I have always read voraciously as well, especially fantasy, and I began inventing longer stories where heroes saved the world from terrible villains.

In my high school days, I would often come home from school and run upstairs to write for long stretches at a time. I didn’t believe in planning then, I thought that stories had to grow and be discovered as I went along. This approach invariably led to me smacking into walls several chapters into a project. It didn’t help any that I was growing and learning new ways to write, something which frequently caused me to look back on my work with disgust before scrapping everything to start fresh.

It wasn’t until a year or two ago that, fed up with never finishing a story I’ve been writing for nearly fourteen years, I first plotted every chapter from start to finish of a fantasy story. I wrote up a short synopsis on index cards, and proudly wrote the date at the top when I finished the rough draft of the chapter. I was moving forward at a steady pace until I finally ran into an excuse to stop writing. Probably something ridiculous like, “I don’t have the time.”

In October, I was venting frustrations to my husband about my writing when he suggested I participate in National Novel Writing Month. I had heard of NaNoWriMo, it was always lurking there when November approached, and I always found excuses not to participate. “I have to work on my main project, I can’t bring that to NaNo. It’s not serious enough for me. I don’t have the time.” Fine excuses, right?

I decided to do it this year. I poked around in the forums, read something about Scrivener and how it had a free trial, learned a bit about it and started outlining the project that would become Climbing Yggdrasil. I got off to a great start, nearly hitting 10,000 words by the end of the first weekend. I devoured every pep talk as it came in, at long last coming to the conclusion that the only thing that kept me from feeling like a proper writer was the fact that I wasn’t making time in my life to write. The more I feel like a writer, the more confidence I have in myself.

I hit the goal on the last day; there were nine days in which I had not written a single word. I worked hard to maintain a steady lead so that if something came up and I couldn’t write, I could take a day off without falling behind. I watched the congratulatory video on the winners’ page and had tears in my eyes. I never thought I couldn’t do it, except those years I didn’t try. But it was so moving to have reached a serious writing goal.

Last month was all about bringing those 50,000 words to a proper ending. This month is about resisting the temptation to start editing. I want to keep going with this momentum I have, but I also want to divorce myself from what I’ve written.

So there you have it, my journey as a writer which has led me to come here and document my adventures. This blog exists primarily as a means to inspire myself to work harder and press on. Its secondary function is to connect me with other people interested in reading and writing, people with whom I can share experiences and words of encouragement. While I view the act of writing itself as a solitary activity, it is very nice to have validation from others going through the same process. A third purpose which I have been afraid to state up until now is to find writers to share work with and receive constructive comments, though I’m a bit far from that at the moment. One day. Soon.

5 thoughts on “Who am I and why am I here?

  1. NaNoWriMo really is amazing for that. Writing is a solitary exercise, but there’s thousands of us doing it every year and showing that actually, it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun when you can share your solitude (and occasionally characters and plot devices) with other people.

      • The community is definitely worth it. I have had brilliant luck with my groups, starting off here in Yorkshire and then going on exchange to Melbourne. It really makes the difference, especially if you find yourself in a group who can keep going all year like we did.

  2. I can also speak to the awesomeness of NaNo. I started in 2011 and have won every year, but this is the first year where I found myself thinking “I need to do this more often than one month out of the year.” So here I am on the blogs just as you are, committed to keep on writing.

    • I find that coming here and blogging helps me feel more like a writer. So long as I don’t start ignoring the actual creative writing part. Keep it up with the blogging, I enjoy reading what you write.

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