Tuesday, August 3, 2010
On Writing My First Book
Not a lot of people know this about me, but when I was 14, all the way back in 2003, (man, how time flies!) I wrote (and completed) my first ever book. It was a magical experience. I had come up with the idea the year before while chatting with my good friend and massage therapist, Allison. I was bouncing ideas off her for a possible story that I could write, and by the time my massage was over, I was bursting with great ideas that involved, a single, 20-something girl, a stalker, a policemen, romance...and some deadly high heels. :)
I fell in love with the story, it's all I thought about and all I wanted to work on, it was the most exciting and freeing time in my life, because I wasn't writing for publication (but it was always in the back of my mind) I was writing for me, I was writing because I knew I needed to tell this story, I wanted to tell it, and then, one night, a year later, just like that, I was finished. Once I typed "The End", all I could do was sit there in front of my computer in stunned silence, marveling at what I had just done. i had finished a book! I had done it! All my hard work over the past year had paid off, and I now had a 100 page book to show for it. I was over the moon!
But, that's when the real trouble began....
I was so excited about finished my first ever novel, that I didn't stop to think about backing it up, or printing it out, and so, when my Dad had to use my laptop that the novel was written on for work, I let him barrow it without thinking about my precious book inside...
And so, as punishment for my lack of planning, by the time he was done using my laptop and brought it back home, I couldn't open up the word document that my book was typed on. We tried everything, but nothing worked, and in the end, the book that I had loved and adored for a year of my life was trapped, lost forever on my laptop.
Well, you can bet after that that I was crushed. My book, my baby, was gone. It wasn't until a few years later that I was hit with a new idea that I had loved almost as much as that idea for my long lost novel, that I tried my hand at writing a new book. During the writing of that new book, I was consumed, I loved it, but then, when I had hit page 80, something happened and I was stuck. That one case of writers block stopped me from finishing what could have been my second completed novel, and ever since then, I've been trapped in a vicious cycle of half-finished WIPs floating around on different computers and notebooks.
And now, here I sit, seven years later, with only 6 days remaining until WriteOnCon with barely any words written, and certainly not a novel. I don't know why this is. A lot of it has to do with fear, the fear that I'll never have another experience like I did in 2003, that I'll never feel that happy again about a project, that I'll never finish anything, that I'll never be published.
Have any of you ever felt this way? That any story you write from here on out will never compare to that one story you wrote and loved so long ago? How do you get past this and other fears in order to find the courage to write and finish something new?
Muse, if your listening, I'm ready to feel that magic again, whenever your ready. I'm here, sitting patiently, waiting. (No, seriously, hurry up, I'm going crazy over here! *pulls out hair*)