I’ve hinted at this in asides and mentioned it in passing, but I think it’s time to be perfectly clear: I’m writing a novel.
You have no idea how hard that was to say. (Well, you might, if you’re also writing a first novel.) I didn’t say: I’m thinking about writing a novel, or I’m trying to write a novel, or I probably won’t finish it but I’m working on a novel, or I have this idea for a novel but I don’t know if I’ll ever really get started on it and ever really do anything with it, or I’m writing a novel but I’m sure it will never get published or even looked at.
Four simple words. I’m writing a novel.
When I was about 9 years old I started to think about writing a novel. I kept a detailed journal of my life every single day for years, partly because I thought I would use it as the basis of my future novel. (Sounds thrilling, right?) Partly because I thought that when I was one day famous (either as a novelist or scientist or politician or whatever) people would want to see what I had been doing on a random Tuesday when I was 10 years old. Oh, the ego of childhood.
In high school I thought I would write a memoirish novel about my crazy high school experiences. I didn’t keep the journals anymore, but I wrote bad poetry and imagined it would one day get the attention it deserved. (At this point I’m just hoping no one ever finds it.)
In college and law school my novel-writing dreams faded. I was too wrapped up in the school work and the extracurriculars and the social life. And, especially towards the end of that period, I was too emotionally drained from a marriage that never should have been and needed to end.
Two years out of law school that marriage did end. Within a few months I started taking creative writing classes and joining writing groups and the dream was alive again.
Three years ago I came upon the first seeds of the idea for my novel. Three years! (When I hear people talk about writing a novel in 18 days I almost lose hope.) I let the idea germinate for awhile, because I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted it to go and if I was comfortable writing about it. I kept thinking I would start, but life kept getting in the way. I got pregnant, we got married, I had a baby, we moved, we moved again.
But through all that I’ve been working. I’ve been outlining and researching and planning. And I’ve been writing, too. I have about 6000 words. Nothing, really. The average (decent) novel is at least 100,000 words. I have a lot of work to do. I’m committed, though, and now I’m publicly committed.
You heard it here first.
And you’ll probably hear a lot more about it over the coming months!
(This post is part of my 30 Days of Truth series. This is Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life. For the complete list, click here.)