Monday, July 8, 2013


I've had a few novel ideas floating around in my head for years. I think about them, refine them, mentally write parts of them off and on, here and there, when my mind wanders to them or sudden inspiration strikes.

Yet I've never felt ready to start writing.

I've always been waiting for the right time, for lighting to strike, for some sort of sign that these stories swimming in my mind are ready to be committed on page.

But a few weeks ago, it hit me. There never is going to be a right time. If I wait for the day when a perfectly constructed story simply begins flooding forth from my fingers, I'll be waiting forever. I just need to start—somewhere, anywhere. I just need to write and see where the words take me.

I think about how many people—full-time writers, yes, but also hobbyists who dabble in writing in their limited spare time between full-time jobs and family and a million other commitments. If they can do it, what's my excuse?

Fear, mostly. Fear that what I'll get halfway or even all the way through what I'm writing and realize it's crap. Fear that no one will want to read my words, let alone publish them. Fear that I'll agonize over the finer details of my story for hours upon hours, devote a good portion of my life to writing something I believe in, only to discover it isn't good enough.

But really, who hasn't had that fear?

So I decided to just jump in, word by word, and see where the story takes me. I started a few weeks ago and have only written a little bit here, a little bit there. It's not very much and it's not very consistent, but it's a start.

I'm not sure how often I'll visit here, but on occasion I hope to write about what the process of novel writing is like for a newbie, a beginner. I know it's something lots of people write about, but if nothing else I think writing through my struggles with writing might help me figure things out as I go.

Oh, and the funny thing about this first attempt at novel writing I'm undertaking? It's not even one of the two novels that I've been silently penning without pen for years. It's a completely different story that I've spent a lot less time agonizing over. Rather strange how these things work out, isn't it?