As the door closes on another year as always, I take a deep breath and stop for a moment to look back. I think about holidays, special moments with friends and sometimes I can even recall one or two memorable day to day incidents that have cropped up during those 365 days (actually it was 366 days this year wasn’t it?). And of course I take stock of my writing journey.
The written word forms a big part of my life. I read, review, blog…and I write. To date I have written seven novels and that is six more than I thought I would ever be capable of. Because once that book is out there there’s this vacuum, not only about what comes next but whether, indeed, there is a next. Reading Caroline Finnerty’s December post about that moment of doubt when you’re in the middle of writing a book, I realise that same moment is also very real before you’ve even seated yourself in front of the PC with an idea or a properly worked out plot. With the best will in the world you can create this whole idea in your head, make extensive notes and even set it up on a wall trail of Post It notes, but when you eventually think about beginning to write it’s a whole different ball game. There’s that moment when you begin to get an annoying little niggle. First it’s about your story line. Will the first scene draw the reader in? Is the story believable? Have I done enough research? Of course the characters aren’t going to be left out, they too have their own questions. Was it such a good idea to have that red headed hero? Is your heroine really going to appeal to readers?
What I have discovered from past experience, however, is that just as Caroline overcame her doubts and continued writing, I too will eventually square my shoulders, gather up my characters and step up to the challenge. I’ll write that first line, which will gradually become a page and then a chapter. And once I am on my way I know there can be no turning back. That no matter how many problems I hit between start and finish my determination will tell me this is a story which can and will be written. I know it won’t be perfect but it’s a beginning and something I can build on, turning this first draft ugly duckling into a perfect white swan as I head toward my eventual goal – publication.
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope 2017 brings you all you’ve hoped for.
This post is brought to you by Jo Lambert.