I am participating in my third-ever NaNoWriMo. It’s been a bit of a journey to get to the first lines of this challenge.
I wanted to write a book, fiction specifically. I’ve been feeling it’s high time for me to launch into the “next phase” — and that felt like doing something book-y.
I narrowed my initial three ideas down to one. I had a beginning, a mushy middle, and an end. The basics. I began plotting and getting to know my characters. I read books on the process. I studied my favorite novels.
I was starting to feel…stressed, actually. Completely unready to take this on. Not in an “I’m not good enough” way but in a “This doesn’t quite feel right” kind of way.
About a week ago, I got several emails and messages from friends and acquaintances about various humor pieces I’ve had published in the last few months. They all mentioned how my voice is distinct, and their words were complimentary and so very appreciated.
I said to my husband that I needed to find a way to make my book humorous like my essays, that that feels most me right now. And in his infinite wisdom, he said, “Why don’t you just do a book of essays?”
It stopped me in my tracks, as did my response. “Because I think for that to be successful, I’d need a much larger internet following than I have.”
Which…is not a good reason not to write the book I want to write and the book that I think will be good. I can’t control the market, I can’t worry about the selling points. I just need to worry about writing.
So I started from scratch, planning essays, figuring out a tentative through-line which I am more than happy to toss aside at any point. I’m keeping the novel ideas because I’m learning (the hard way) to never say never.
Today I started writing.
See you in 50,000 words!