Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Starting From Scratch - Again

When I first decided to give writing a book a try, I was terrified. Not that my book would be bad - strangely, I never worried about that, don't know what that says about my ego. No, I was scared at the idea over a hundred pages full of words. As someone who had at most written a 100 page screenplay which has considerably less words on each page, and many short stories, the task seemed impossible. Where would all those words come from? What would they be? How could I possibly find a way to use so many of them to tell just one story??

I decided to make my goal simple. Just write a complete story, and make it to page 100. I thought if I could tell a whole story and reach three digit numbers I would know that I was capable of writing a book, which would be all the reassurance I would need. And so I did it, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Ah, whoever coined the phrase "ignorance is bliss" was SO right. I look back now and I can't believe that I thought just finishing a book would be enough to turn me from under-confident writer wannabe to seasoned writer extraordinaire. You know, the one that churns out fabulous books and never has trouble with plots or dialogue or motivation. Ha!

Just like I knew that winning the lottery, or becoming mega-famous, or getting plastic surgery won't actually change who you are, I should've known that neither does writing a book.

Sitting down to write the next book is still hard. It still feels daunting to know I have to come up with 200+ pages of words. In some ways it's more daunting because I know how to spot the bad stuff as it's happening. In other ways, it's exciting, because I know this one will be SO MUCH better. I just also know that it won't be any easier.

Maybe one day I will sit down at the keyboard and gorgeous prose will shoot out of my fingertips like a sprinkler, but for now it's just me, a little bit wiser, trying to make the magic happen on my own.

I have a feeling that each book I write will get a little bit easier and a little bit harder at the same time. But I think that's good, because if it doesn't seem hard, I'm not trying to make it the best it can be. And as long as I learn from each book and make the next one better, I can live with that.

What about you? Do you find each book you write is harder? Easier? The same? How do you deal with it?

5 comments:

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I'm thisclose to finishing my second full book. (The first draft anyway.) And I totally agree that it's both easier--and harder. Harder at the start because I knew exactly what it takes to get to the page that says "the end." But sososo much easier because I learned SO much while writing that first one. And I've learned even more with this one.

So basically, I'm saying I agree with you :)

Broken Angel said...

Actually, I've never written a book. I just like following these kinds of blogs because writers have interesting things to say...hehe

Natalie C Parker said...

I was so ready for my second book because much like you've said, by the end of writing the first (I use that term loosely) I wasn't the same writer I'd been at the start of the thing. I looked at that book and still loved the concept, but knew it wasn't what I wanted to publish because the next one would be that much better.

So, I say, blaze ahead!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I've written two and parts of a third, but ow I'm going back to the first and majorly revising because I've learned so much since I originally wrote it.

I cope by drinking White Russians. Milk does a body--and brain--good. :)

Kathryn said...

It's all overwhelming if you allow yourself to think of the magnitude it could be, but if it's just a little bit at a time, spending a few hours with a good friend and following him or her around and being a part of their story, it's not as scary. Good luck with it!

PS. I have to stop by more often. I love what you've done with this place! The blue is just perfect! :)

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