Blog No. 112
Last year, around this time, I started my first novel. I spent the first couple of weeks either sitting at the kitchen table or zipping to a local coffee shop to get a couple of pages written every day. I don’t know if you remember last winter (now that it’s cold again, it seems the people around me have forgotten). It was a tremendous challenge to stay on track and brave the cold, but I had a goal and I was going to try. Then things got busy and I lost focus and in a month, I had four terrible chapters and no momentum. I wasn’t ready.
I hadn’t even intended to start a novel at that point. I has spent years talking about all the books I was going to write and even blabbed a bunch about this one specifically, but after having spent a year writing short stories, I didn’t think I had the chops to write a novel yet. Then Christian proclaimed that he was going to write a novel (the jerk), so I thought I’d better give it a shot — I wasn’t about the be left behind. I was nervous, hesitant, and it all fell apart. Maybe it was the self doubt that did it, but either way — I quit.
I didn’t quit writing though. My focus switched to short stories and in no time, Christian and I were working on a collection instead. We’re still working on it too, so at least I know I have some staying power (even if I drag my feet). While the collection is the main focus for me at the moment (gotta finish) I am interested in getting the novel off the ground again. I feel that after a year of learning, writing, and small successes, I am ready to write a terrible, but competent, first draft. I feel like with editing, rewriting, and writing for this blog and Adventure Worlds, I have progressed enough to give it another try.
Now I’m starting from almost scratch (I really like my opening bit). I came up with a solid second act problem and I feel like I have a plot that is good enough to start with. I just hope my writing is up to snuff and I can keep going past chapter five and to the end. If everything goes the way I see it, I should have a first draft by June and maybe even publish before the end of the year. I don’t think I’m alone in being a writer who has a lot of stories to tell. There are some who only have one or two, but most of us can’t stop that flow of ideas. If I can get into the habit now, maybe I can start a trend of putting out a book a year. I have the ideas, I just need to put in the work.
Both blogs are still a priority, and like I said, the collection. I still want to keep putting out the zines and working on Finders (if we can get an artist to help with that). There are other projects I want to take a shot at doing this year too (a couple that didn’t work out last year). I guess I’ll have to just work at it and see where the year takes me. I have as good a shot as I ever have, but I don’t want to turn into a pelican (who’s mouth could hold more than his belly can — My Grandfather).