"Overcome fear, behold wonder." --Richard Bach
This is never easy. Hell, I don't even know where to begin talking about it, let alone how to get it across in a way that'll make sense. And I'm pretty sure it's different for everyone, yet at the same time, I think if we all talked about it, we'd all understand.
I started writing the new book tonight.
It took longer to actually get my ass in the chair and start than I'd thought. When it's time to write, there's always a dozen and more different things I can do really quick before I start, and those stack up quickly. So I had to make myself not do them. Then I had to find a song -- I've developed a kind of ritual for writing, and part of it involves finding a song that fits the story and playing that every time before I start. Since today was the first day, I had to find the song. Took a guess, found it on the first try, and it worked surprisingly well. Seemed like I was prepared. So I started.
I then spent the entirety of the first page beating down my internal editor with a mental plunger, telling myself to just keep writing, that anything bad could be fixed later. No, I didn't want to know that I was taking too long to get to the big moment of the first chapter. No, I didn't want to know about the 250-word mark that would be crucial later for queries and pitches and what-have-you. No, I didn't want to know that things were already going too slowly. Just write, I told myself, I had to tell myself. Just write.
And now, 2500 words later, I'm more than a little relieved. What I have isn't spectacular but it introduces the two main characters and the main antagonist, and most importantly, it gets the story started. Now that I've started, I can keep going. Now, when I sit down, it'll be to pick up where I left off. It's a lot easier to put one word after the other when there's already words in place.
The thing is, I knew I needed to start this tonight. My life has this tendency to go well except for the things I want most -- I've got a good job that pays me plenty, I have some of the greatest friends and family anyone could ask for, and I generally don't have too much to worry about. Except this. Except writing something that will get my career started. I know I'm exaggerating, but it constantly feels like I'm failing at the one thing in life I want most.
And three nights ago, I put Skyborne behind me for the last time, and made a wish for my success. A strong wish. A wish that won't come true without a lot of hard work on my part. So three nights later, I knew, I had to start.
Here's hoping it works.