I was sitting here contemplating what subject I was going to tackle for today’s column and I wondered off to think about whether I liked my hair curly or straight, should I go and clean out six litter boxes (and no, I am NOT a cat lady.), why does my Buddhist meditation teacher not like me (I can never sit in the right chair – it’s not like I am blocking the sun from the Buddha), can we really just go with half a Christmas tree this year (it seem we can) or if I eat this dark chocolate incredibly fast will it not register with my brain that I cheated on Weight Watchers and thus the weight will not show up on my hips?
And now that my mother ship has landed safely back on earth, an answer came in the form of a question.
I am going to call my heroine – Lost in the Blank Pages. Okay, you do better!
Lost in the Blank Pages is stuck. She followed a guidebook on how to create the outline for her first novel. It took her almost a year to finish. She didn’t proceed to the next step which was to write her first novel.
First of all, congratulations on writing your first novel’s outline. But I read that the actual writing of the novel is not working out for you. I feel your pain because my first book still has not materialized before my eyes. I would like to take this time to thank Facebook and Twitter for allowing me to squander all my waking hours on cute puppy videos. But you wrote an outline. Bravo. That shows incredible commitment on your part.
What I am thinking here is that maybe the actual writing of the novel is not coming because your passion for the characters or plot has waned. You mentioned that you have another guidebook on how to write the novel and you are feeling a little put off. Write on. You should be because all these guidebooks have left you reading and not writing.
I love guidebooks (and we writers do need them) but sometimes one just has to put them in a pile and just write, Total and complete crap. Stuff you would never want anyone to see after you go to that glorious wiring clinic in the sky. Just write and don’t edit yourself. Just write. Leave room for creativity and your passion to walk in holding hands. Write.
Can you commit to writing for 20 to 30 minutes a day? Forget the outline. See what you can do on your own. Work up a dialogue, paint the scene of the crime, have the lovers meet for the first time and realize that if it sucks – it’s a start. And it could be a start of your first novel.
And finally Lost in the Blank Pages wanted to know if she should join a writers group. I just joined a small group of writer/friends and I know we are going to support each other and critique each other’s work as soon as the New Year rolls in. And if you can’t find out that works for you – please go and start your own.
Every man loves two women; the one is the creation of his imagination and the other is not yet born. Kahlil Gibran
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