My First Novel

Writing is pure creation. An idea goes from living in your head to existing on the page. It is lengthy, laborious, brain intensive process that is at times frustrating and seemingly impossible and yet a greater delight than any other professional pursuit I have ever experienced.

When writing my first novel, getting the first draft started took a month of rewrites but after I found the beginning that worked and the storyline that matched it, the words came with relative ease… most of the time. Some days felt like banging my head against a wall in the hopes that words would fall out. Other days four thousand words would seemingly materialize before me.

There were a few great moments of writing. The first was when one night the great tactic that would win the fight for my hero revealed itself to me. I told my fiancé I’d be busy until further notice, poured a Jack and coke, and wrote until three in the morning. Over five thousand words in four hours. That, is pure creation.

The other moment was when I wrote the last pages of my first draft. My brother was visiting and he understood that I considered my writing to be my work so he was sitting quietly on the couch behind me. Not much creation was needed. The story was finished in my mind, I simply needed to put the words down, but what words? When I did gave word form to the final moments of my story, I felt a great swell of pride. I’d written a novel, a full novel.

The final, and proudest moment of my writing was when I sent off my novel to get an ISBN number because… I’d done it. That was it. It was a thing. I’d done the writing, the rewrites, the edits, and so much deleting. After that it was just paperwork to get the book out to the world. It existed. Less than one percent of people that say they want to write a book ever release a book and I’d done it. I was the one percent.

As hard as writing the sequel is being some days, I look back on the process of writing the first book and remind myself that I can do it. If I wrote one book, I can write two, I can write a dozen. I just need to sit in front of the keyboard and write. Some days that means banging my head and only having four hundred words fall out. Other days three thousand words appear without my realizing. The key is to write. Write what you can as often as you can.

Any large task is the same. Do something that brings that big impossible goal a little closer every day. Only wrote two hundred words? You are two hundred words closer. Your dreams are worth the effort. Don’t forget that.

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