I have always dreamed of being an author.
It's one of those vocations that really speaks to me. It would be so glorious to write something, something from my own mind, and actually release it into the wild world to be read and commented on and, possibly, loved.
It would also be absolutely terrifying.
I've started and stopped writing dozens of novels, jotting down ideas and even describing a few to my husband and friends for their opinions. It's a very vulnerable process and one I'm still struggling with. I have never, ever finished a writing project. Which is rather absurd, since I started writing and telling stories when I was just a kid. I have my first one somewhere, entitled Land of Celladore, a few chapters clumsily written and then abandoned. The self-doubt is really hard to quell. Which is why it's so nice to have people you trust to bounce ideas off of.
The problem is it's ever so much easier to create ideas than to actually complete them. Mid-story it's so tempting, when you hit that wall, to say - oh! What about this? This is a great idea! I'll write about that instead!
Only to discover mid-story, again, that it's just as difficult as the last. It's a terrible pattern of loving and leaving.
I think one of the farces I often create for myself is that I have to find the right thing to write, so it can get published and read and adored by millions. Right? Isn't that the order of business?
I somehow got it into my head that whatever I write has to be publishable. When the truth is, I could write 4 or 5 entire books before I write anything worthwhile. But it's about the writing, the desperate habit of writing -- the practice, the adventure, the experience.
I recently read something that clicked on a lightbulb in my brain. I think the bulb was already there, but it was never lit. If I write 500 words a day for a year, I would have a novel written. Period. Would it be good? Would it get published? That's all besides the point. The point is that it would get done! I would actually finish a book. And that, my friends, is the first of many great accomplishments for a writer-to-be. It would be the first of many steps toward writing that worthwhile something. It creates that system of follow-through that is so necessary to develop confidence, self-awareness and appreciation for ideas. Some of my favorite authors have books that were never published, first drafts that were absolute rubbish. The more you write the better you get, and that is the grand journey of it all.
All that to say - I'm writing a book. I think I'm saying it out loud in order to cement that accountability. It's out of my protective hands now, out into the world. You all know it and if this book ever makes it onto paper and into a cover, we can point to this post, dated and signed with the first hopeful admission.
It's not a good book, but it could be. It's from my own head and it's a work in progress. My goals for this year are to attempt to write that 500 words a day to build up my life's word count, and to hopefully finish a first book draft. It would be a fairly revolutionary accomplishment for me!
I hope to work hard, a little every day, to finish.
Even if it's just fertilizer, it'll be a nourishing beginning.