As I bask in the glow of a completed manuscript currently battling it out with others in the #PitchWars Twitter contest, I find it so easy to lounge. I wrote a book! Time to take a break…or not. At least for me, I find that if I don’t jump feet first into the next project, a week of leisure can become a month, even a year between major writings.
But jumping in isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Where do I start? How do I select an idea out of the dozens hopping up and down like strays at the pound looking for a home? Should I continue with a similar genre, or should I head off into waters unknown? And even after all of those questions, the big one looms.
How do I start?
Starting a novel is terrifying. It’s not like giving over a few days to a poem, essay, or story, knowing that it’s easy to pull the plug. If a shorter piece fails, you’ve only invested a few days. Mere hours on the writing spectrum. But a novel, it’s a commitment. It’s taking an idea and locking in as if you take the hand of your first date and say What the heck, let’s go get married in that chapel around the corner. It’s a spiritual and emotional mortgage, cementing you to an idea. Once you’ve made that jump, though, it’s essential to get going because again, waiting too long can take the shine right off of your idea. So, I’ve assembled a few tips that have helped me move forward in the past, and one of these tips will hopefully help me put pen to paper tonight as I sign off on my new endeavor.
Whatever you do, keep writing. And enjoy every delicious, painful minute of it.
A mother, teacher, and writer who enjoys all good stories and believes in the magic we can make every day by telling them.