It’s a novel idea, writing a novel

Or, how to disappear for weeks at a time.

It is with a certain astonishment that I realize I haven’t updated this here blog in a while. Fortunately, I can say that I have a good reason for not keeping with this particular area of my writing. Thanks in part to participation in a novel writing class/workshop, I have at least started my book, the ideas for which have been swirling around my brain for more than a decade. Years ago I had managed to come up with a poorly written draft of the first chapter, but was too scared and intimidated to continue.

To my friends and fellow writers, I must say that being afraid to write is the worst sin that you can commit against yourself.

I have managed to finish drafts of seven chapters out of a planned twenty. Ideas and characters are pouring out of my brain at a staggering rate, because I have dismissed my fear of continuing. Instead of looking at a roughly drafted chapter that doesn’t read smoothly as a failure, it is just motivation to continue, to improve. There will be rewrites, there will be trims, there will be edits, but going back to revise a complete chapter is infinitely more satisfying than trying to pick apart the same paragraph over and over. If you try to make it perfect the first time, you will never stop rewriting. Even at this moment, I am looking at my third chapter and shaking my head at its clunkiness, but I know that when I go back to it later I will take the foundation which I have laid, and make something great out of it.

Because it is incomplete and some details are influx, I will wait until a later time to elaborate on what the book is about. What I wanted to share most is that the process of writing a book, while not for everyone, is an invigorating, satisfying experience. To create something that is from the heart as well as the mind is a reward that I can scarcely describe. To any of you writers who read this humble blog, I implore you to continue your craft. Don’t worry about perfection. Finish what you start. The nitpicky details can come later.


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