Inspiration, when it came, came after weeks of staring at the screen and writing and suddenly things began to happen. But I think it is simply kickstarting the subconscious. I don't believe in a divine idea springing forth! Oh, that that were true! I think you just sit down and do the work every day and sometimes the pieces come together in wondrous ways. (And sometimes they don't.)
It's exactly what I needed to read. I've finished plotting my novel, for the most part. Let's just say it's at the point where I can stop the constant research, and there's a basic bone structure to work with. That was the easy part.
Now the hard part comes - facing the blank page. Where do I start? Do I write the first lines or begin somewhere in the middle?
And there are all those fears the inner critic brings to mind:
- what if I write for hours and it's all crap?
- what if I get half way through the novel and I have to start over?
- what if I get stuck somewhere along the way and abandon it just like I've done with every other novel I've started (2 or 3 at least)?
And then there's the whole idea (excuse?) that I need the perfect set up and time and place to begin. You know, like I need complete quiet or some soft background music, along with a magical candle burning. This whole ritual before I can start writing.
But the house is never quiet and the ideal time never comes.
That's not true. Even when the ideal moment happens, I do something else like play a game on my phone or take a nap.
All of these excuses and wasted time is fear. Fear of starting.
That's why what Caroline said stirred my spirit. Sometimes one must stare at the screen for awhile, then write whatever comes to mind. It might take weeks before the good stuff comes pouring out. And even then it might not be so good, but at least it's something. Words to work with.
Even if it's all crap, it's not wasted.
It's my intention to finish this novel, no matter what. When stuff starts to feel hard, I won't look to the next shiny, new idea. I'll stick with this story because it's important to me. It's the story I've always wanted to write. I think it's a good story and I want to bring it to life.
And I want to document this process, to take anyone who's interested along on the journey. Because someday, if I do what I say I'm going to do and the book gets published, someone might want to know how I did it and I can point them to these pages.
These are the questions I asked.
These are the challenges I faced.
These are the routines.
These are the tools I used.
Here's my inspiration.
This is how I did it.
I hope you'll follow along, especially if you've always wanted to write a novel.
Let's find out what kind of adventure this really is.