Inspiration: You

Yes!  I finally managed to do it.  It is early in the morning, and I have woken up specifically to write.  Granted, I’m supposed to be writing a novel not a blog, but I’m writing.  It’s time to get myself in a habit.  I know I can do this, and be hard core and get this baby done, but it’s kind of like training for a marathon or deciding to lose 10 pounds or going to rehab (according to TV), I have to get mentally prepared to commit because it ain’t going to be easy.  I’m getting there…

Anyway, it’s been 2 weeks since my last blog post.  Let’s say I was on vacation that whole time.  Before I left, I spent a lot of time talking about other people’s accomplishments and advice, so today I will get back to discussing this random process that I’m supposed to be documenting—blogging. Well noveling, but let me explain…

If you follow this blog at all or have seen me recently, then you know that I’ve been much more productive blogging then actually making moves on my ultimate goal…or so I thought.  I originally decided to blog to ensure that I was doing some non-legal writing on a regular basis, but it is actually helping the creative process in unexpected ways.  You see, as research, I’ve been living my life.  And since beginning this blog, I’ve found the conversations that I have with acquaintances, colleagues and people who I haven’t seen in a while have changed.  Now, when I have a few minutes to catch up after running into them in a coffee shop or a conference room, many who have read my blog have surprising and amazingly begun to discuss their passions with me.  Literally, I’ve found 3 or 4 other friends who are writing books on the side (or “writing” like me, but the goal is there nevertheless), and even more who have said that they would like to one day.  Others have told me about how they have set time daily to practice a language they’ve always loved or are taking acting classes to create balance with their work life.  The most shocking part about these interactions?  Most of these people are lawyers.  Who knew they could be so interesting?  Maybe law school and the bar sucks the life out of us, and then once we start working again we have to do what we can to get it back.

Anyway, I find these interactions inspiring for several reasons.  First, it encourages me to continue to pursue the goal.  Every time I post a blog entry or think seriously about this project I get this crazy anxiety.  But then I tell myself, “no, this is a good idea, people who do big things find a way to keep going through feelings like this.”  And hearing nice feedback and experiencing new interactions certainly makes this self pep talk more convincing.  Second, of course being exposed to completely different sides of people is a welcomed reminder that humans (all of us, even the ones that appear to be very, very simple) are complex beings.  These interactions are being embbeded into my subconscious and will ultimately make my characters have more depth, I know it.

So, what passion are you pursuing on the side? I’d love to hear about it…Hollaa!

The Answers to Your Burning Questions…

About how my novel is doing, of course (and why I’ve really decided to put myself on blast by blogging about it all).  I’ve been doing this illegalwriting thing for a couple of months, and have now actually had real-life conversations with people who have read it (my friends, but still readers). In these convos, I’m usually asked, “how is the novel going?,” and “what’s it going to be about?”  Fair questions, especially since I didn’t provide much explanation when I began this whole thing.  So in light of these inquiries, I’m going to use this post to shed a little bit of light on what was going on in my head when I decided to “write a novel” and then blog about process, as well as update you all on its status.

On how it’s going:

As for the novel itself, I have to admit that I haven’t really done a lot—but this is intentional!  If you look to the right of this webpage, you’ll see that I have given myself until January 14, 2014 to basically finish a first draft.  Not to get published, not to make it “good,” but to have a story that has a beginning, middle and end.  Some writers, in fact, maybe most writers (or even most people) need quite a bit of time to compose a long document, even to just get the words on the page. I, on the other hand, do not.  Once I have an idea, I write fast.  Like these blog posts take me 30 minutes.  The consequence of this gift/curse (and if you’re truly an illegalwriting fan, you’ll know this already) are typos and errors; however, to me, that’s a small price to pay for the psychological benefit of progress. Plus, I like editing.  Since I know I can write fast, I’m taking this time to focus on the concept and do some “research.”  This means reading a few more books, having a couple more discussions with other writers and living a few more months of life.

So, how is the novel going? Great! What is it going to be about? TBD! But trust me when I say that this is happening. IT IS HAPPENING. (That last sentence was more for myself, but whatevs.)

On the decision to blog:

As for why I decided to put myself out there and tell everyone I know that I want to do this—well, there are several motives behind that.  First, when the idea came to mind, I wanted to start writing and to incorporate it into my routine right away! I was inspired, and felt the need to turn that inspiration into something tangible, immediately.

Second, I try to produce what I like to consume.  In this case, that means documentation of the journey. For example, Obama’s 2008 election felt extra special to me because I had been following the campaign from the days when his chances were very, very slim.  Or, (if my comparing myself to Obama is a bit much for you), consider Bravo’s Bethenny Frankel (yup, bringing it back to the low-brow girl stuff): basically, she was on some random, unknown reality show, single and poor, talking about how she wanted to be rich, successful, and married with babies.  Mindless Real Housewives of NYC episode after mindless episode, you see her trials and tribulations and catfights until BOOM! She sells her SkinnyGirl Margarita for $100 million (I said $100 million dollars!), and has managed to find the love of her life and have a kid.  The whole thing is impressive on its own, but, more importantly, somewhere along the way I unconsciously became invested in her success. And at the end, I actually was inspired.  That’s cool.  Maybe at the end of this I will have had that effect on someone.  At least that’s my hope.

Third, I write fast. I write this blog because I can.

Did I answer your questions?

Illegal Writing (i.e., Not Legal Writing)

I am a lawyer based in Washington, DC trying to moonlight as a creative writer.  My goal is write a novel (dun dun dun!) within the next 18 months, and this blog will chronicle how that goes for me.  Despite my net worth being, like, negative $200,000, law school was actually a good choice for me; however, ever since I began writing in my Hello Kitty diary back in the 3rd grade I’ve had a story to tell.  You know that dream you’ve had since you were a little kid? To be famous? To be President? To cure cancer?  Well, mine was to write a novel.  I owe to myself to at least try.  This year I’m going to attempt to finish it.  No, not publish it, or even necessarily make it good (low standards are attainable ones, right??).  If I succeed at my first goal, then maybe I’ll set some others.  For now, I just want to write however many billions of fictional words I can and see what happens.

Ok, so what will you write about?

In case you couldn’t tell by my header, I am a big fan of chick lit and I think that’s the category my future masterpiece (ha!) will fall into (unless you believe that has a negative connotation, in which case I will call it lady lit).  I choose lady lit not because I think it’s easier to write, but because I want to write something people will want to read–hey, I’m a realist.  Specifically, I would like to tell a tale that speaks to women.  I admire the effect Sex and the City had, for example.  Women (from all different backgrounds) we were able to relate to the relationship aspect of the show in a way that men just couldn’t understand (yes, I’m aware that is a TV show, but that’s the effect I want to have, what can I say??).  That’s what I would like to do.  I want to tell a story for all the women in their 20s and 30s feeling lost, that’s my target audience.  Wish me luck!