I'm Arike van de Water, a twenty-something with too many ideas and too little time to put them on paper. For a couple of years now, I've written everything that caught my fancy, and even some things that didn't. Some of them you'll find here on the website, others are well-hidden in a folder called The Deep Dark Dungeon of Unfinished Pieces, never to be exposed to a mortal eye again.
My occupation is scrambling to get papers done on time, slacking off when I really shouldn't, learning a lot of things I really like to know and growing up. You get it, student. Between classes, I love to get out and about, to shop, to walk or to cycle. I spend way too much time on books and movies, and the rest on family and friends. I'm also involved with a youth choir, Challenge, which is holding a big concert come November, which falls in the same week as the start of NaNoWriMo.
As you probably surmised from the poetry section, I'm also a Christian. Combining that with a love of fantasy is strange, maybe, but works well together. Both at Castlefest and at Bible study do I find ideas for my books and challenges to my worldview.
How It Began...
Writing can be many things. For me, it's mostly an obsession. I do it because I find myself doing it, whether I like it or not. If I haven't written for a week, then I start scribbling snatches of dialogue on the back of an envelope, or the first few lines of a sonnet in the margins of my lecture notes, or the next great idea for my novel on a blank page snatched from the printer at 3 am.
I don't know when it started. Perhaps the first time I attempted to write fanfiction. Maybe when I participated in a poetry contest in high school. I know when my first great failure came along, though. It was NaNoWriMo 2005.
I started my first venture into the world of fiction at the wrong end, by reading the manual. I was convinced I could write the Next Literary Masterpiece, and not just that, but I could do it in a foreign language as well. I started. I failed and after 12,000 words, I was ready to throw it away. So I did. I resolved to do it completely different the next year.
I sought out fellow writers. I payed no attention to quality. I prepared, and then I let the story fly, with no attention to any mistake. Everything that NaNoWriMo ought to be. That worked. I found the courage to put my own universe on paper, and much satisfaction in doing so. It was a thousand times more intense than reading a book. The afterglow of cobbling 75,000 words together took six months to fade.
After that, the animal was free. I continued to write, seriously preparing what was to be my first “real” novel in the 2006 class of the 2 Year Novel initiative over on Forward Motion. Short stories, some poems, came out of my fingers as well. A screenplay, even, when Scriptfrenzy was launched. My confidence increased, as did my writing skills, little by little. I changed, and so did the characters I wrote about. It became easier to put the words on the page, and easier to make them into something I could reread with pleasure.
Right now, I'm laying down the groundwork for NaNoWriMo 2009, which is also my current 2 Year Novel project. I plan to finish a novel completely, like last year. This year's challenge will be giving it a proper climax, something I've failed to do so far. Who knows if it will work out? But I'll keep writing...