About Me

The elusive JR, also known by such secret identities as bobo_the_bard and Agent Double Oh Zero (and sometimes Who Ate The Last Oreo!?), is an aspiring writer. - Said no one ever.

I like making things up and pretending they're true. I tried writing my first novel in high school. It was a dismal failure. It had a lot of plot, but it meandered like a drunkard, vacillating wildly in direction with every scene. It had no overall story arc; it was 100k of eternal beginnings, but no middles and endings.

After I realized this, I lost confidence, and gave up on writing for about seven years.

Then, one October, I signed up for NaNoWriMo 2010, and it was like I had opened my eyes for the first time. Up till then, my Inner Editor ruled me with with a rod of iron. If it wasn't absolutely perfect, out it went. There was nothing to do but start over. NaNo2010 broke me of that habit. That first wrimo introduced me to the joys of writing things out of order, and the time pressure combined with the word crunch showed me the freedom that is to be had in locking away the Inner Editor in an iron cage, letting the Unadulterated Author churn out thousands of words of execrable prose with reckless abandon, grinning happily.

If I learned anything from the experience, it is that the dramatic vision of the hermit who pours his soul out onto parchment in solitude, neither eating nor sleeping, as he writes, caught in the thrall of the Muse...is mostly a load of hamster cage liner.

It's true what Thomas Edison said...invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Writing is hard! Imagination is a muscle that needs to be exercised, and just like with music or painting, the art of novel writing improves with practice. I will grant that there is a fair amount of paper crumpling and agonized hair clutching around, but that's where the dramatic vision ends. Most of it is simply hard work, shoved into the free minutes when you're not going to work or cooking dinner or paying bills. There is no such thing as Writer's Block. Muses don't float around giving out free lunches. You have to drag them into your head kicking and screaming...and the only way to do that is to write regularly, and often.

And that's why I started this blog: here I will be spilling the progress of my literary workout program. This will mostly consist of me entering as many wrimos as I possibly can without going insane. The fact is, even though I am a grad student, I am relatively new to the writing front. There are those who, at my age, have been scribbling since they were a child. Aside from my dismal attempt in high school, I did nothing before NaNo 2010...but once I started, I have never wanted to look back.

My overall goal for now is to finally finish something that I started. I want to see that first draft sitting on my desk, with the words 'The End' printed on the last page. So now, my characters and I will be setting out on new adventures. And this time, we'll be coming home at the end.