Writing The Novel: Day One

Let’s try this again…

Writing the Novel: Day One.

If I counted every day that I spent thinking, conjuring, doubting, and procrastinating this, today would definitely not be the first day of writing the novel.

I chose today as Day One because today I am writing the first chapter that I intend to use as Chapter One of my upcoming novel ‘The Pepper House’.  Everything I’ve written thus far, over the last five years, has been content, brainstorming, and mistakes.  And I plan to make a lot more mistakes as I go, but that’s okay.  I have to accept them, learn from them, and correct them.

In essence, today is the first day that I’m correcting a huge mistake I made in 2013 when I started to allow doubt and indecision pull me away from what I had been focused on in the fall of 2012 with my first attempt at writing the novel.

It’s the concept of fear.  Not feeling like I am good enough to write a novel, whether or not it hits any bestseller lists or even sells at all.  For the last four years, I let the idea that writing HAD to make money rule how I approached writing.  The constant need to justify my writing by promising others that this would somehow solve all financial problems when the truth of the matter was that I had never, ever considered writing from a financial gains standpoint.

The truth in the philosophy that the moment one starts to write with financial goals as the reward, there will be no financial rewards.  I made the mistake of second guessing myself because I would hear the question ‘but how much money will it make?’ when in truth…no one knows, and I really don’t care.

I have been writing since I was a child for no other reason than my own entertainment and sanity.  Yes, I love feedback and the excitement of people who support me when they get to read what I’ve written.  In fact, it drives me to keep going.  The questions about plot, character, story…and the anticipation in friends, loved ones, and strangers who barely know me who plead with me to get them the next bit…next chapter…

Yesterday, I finished what is as complete an outline as I needed in order to get started with established goals to keep me driven and ambitious enough to proceed.  It’s a very malleable outline, leaving room for movement, but it’s also set in plot points and resolutions that I have to adhere to.  This means I have something to reference when I start feeling lost.  I’d never worked off an outline before, and believe this is the best way for me to stay motivated and on task this time.

That said, today is Day One of ‘The Pepper House’.  A story inspired by a moment in my own life as a father that I will never, ever forget.

Let’s hope I do that moment, that scared single dad…some justice.

Thank you,

-jb

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