The hardest part of writing a novel
What’s the hardest part of writing a novel? Sitting down and getting started. I mean this in both the sense of getting yourself into gear to write a novel but also in starting to write every day. Maybe because the beginning of the writing process and the start of each day’s writing starts the same, staring at a blank document on the monitor. The fast empty whiteness of it all can be so intimidating. For me it’s a time that self-doubts roll in and start nagging at me.
“What if I write a really bad novel?”
“What if no body reads it?”
“What if people read it and hate it?”
“What if they just laugh at me for trying?”
I have loads of self-doubts. They aren’t the problem so much as they are a symptom of the problem. The real problem is the ability to find excuses to not start writing, either to not start writing that novel or to put off the daily word count quote and going to play on Facebook instead.
Excuses come in many forms:
“I have to go to work/school/the gym/the grocery store.”
“I need to take care of my kids/parents/dog/pet rock.”
“I’ll write when I have more time.”
“This bathroom is filthy.”
“I really need a nap.”
“Ohhhh….cute kitten videos!”
As you can see, I have loads of excuses. And I’m sure you do too.
The reality is that I am never going to have more time to write than I do right now. There’s always going to be things to do, people and objects to take care of and cleaned up after, naps to take. In the end I’ll only have the time to write when I make the time to write. And that means first and foremost facing my excuses and recognizing them for being what they are. Hey are just excuses that let me get away from facing my own self-doubts.
So in the end I have to be firm with myself when an excuse pops up. I have to say” “To bad, you’ve got a book to write.” And when the self-doubts come creeping in I have to say: “Get over yourself and get back to work..”
Recognizing these things and being firm with myself is by far the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn so far. And it’s something I need to re-learn practically every day when it’s time to sit down and start writing. It’s a tough lesson to learn and there are times when I don’t want to be learning it….
Too bad. Get to writing.