In just two hours, we will cross over into the beginning of that once-a-year, maniacal wonderland writers know as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  The challenge: in addition to all the craziness that is your general life, construct a 50,000 word novel completely from scratch in just 30 days.  This will be my first year attempting this insane challenge; I’m kind of picturing myself as the Evil Kenevil of writers (as are we all), on the motorcycle of life, ready to try jumping a 30-day bus lineup.

Last night, I had the privilege of intense motivation for this challenge.  It just so happened that one of my favorite authors of all times happened to be in a city near me for his first book tour in 15 years.  I spent four hours in the (mostly) indirect presence of Ted Dekker last night and enjoyed every single moment of it: even the two hours standing in line waiting to shake his hand, get a hug and a signature and exchange a couple words.   The timing worked out perfectly since staring into this next month has my brain spinning like that egg-beater ride at county fairs, and I haven’t even started yet.  It was the boost I needed, the “I want to be like Ted!” to remind me why I agree to challenges like these.

It seems writers are frequently asked about the authors who have influenced them.  I’m not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean: who do we want to write like?  Who do we want to be compared to?  Who do we pattern our styles, themes, patterns after?  If these are the answers, I’m not really influenced by any, although I tried to mimic M.J. Barrie’s style in my Tinkerbelle rendition and I was once compared to Kristin Cashore (though I hadn’t read anything by her at the time).  To me, though, influence means something else entirely.   To me, any author who, when I am reading his/her work, makes me want to write, is an influence to me.  If I am equal parts engaged in their story and chomping at the bit to get to my own computer, I consider that author an influence.  And it has nothing to do with what the story is; it’s the ability of the writer to pull me in.  When they do that, I want to be like them and I am inspired to try.   The authors who influence me are many, with Ted Dekker being high on the list.

Thanks for the memories, Ted!  I am so grateful I got a chance to meet one of my greatest influences in writing.

To Ted, and everyone else out there, I would appreciate any good luck wishes!  It promises to be a crazy month!


~ S.D. Bullard


~ by sdbullard on October 31, 2013.

2 Responses to “Inspiration”

  1. That’s so cool you were privileged to meet one of your favorite authors! I’m sure an experience like that will really help keep you motivated during NaNoWriMo.

    I wish you the best of luck with your first NaNo! 🙂

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