I needed to tell a story about identity, or its loss. A story about quitting life as you know it and starting from scratch in the name of love. Sometimes it’s fabulous, but a lot of times it’s just hard.
I knew that a lot of women in that situation would love to read it and feel a little less alone. I knew that many people would resonate with the places and conflicts I wanted to write.
So I started. I had no idea how to write a novel. How many words a day or how often. Characters. Plot. First, second, third, fourth drafts! Beta readers, editors, designer.
You see, all I’ve written in my life were short stories and blog posts. But I needed to tell that story.
I wrote and I researched and I edited in no particular order. There were entire months when I didn’t write a single sentence. You know, some things needed to get done, life called.
I was losing the story. I doubted it. I thought it was boring and nobody would like it.
But writing is the one thing I have always wanted to do and I was committed to getting better at it. I had ideas and I had the time, it was the perfect moment to get serious.
I started thinking about the story ALL the time. I wrote and I wrote (and I tried to stop editing and rereading) and I got to the end at around twenty thousand words. That’s about half a novel. A novella. It’s not what I had in mind, I really wanted to write “a real book”, but hey! what a progress for a short story kinda girl.
Right now I have three beta readers reading my second draft and I plan to release it as a Kindle e-book. I don’t know if I’ll ever write a novel. Maybe. But I do know I will become a better writer.
I just have to write. More words, more often, more focused. I just have to read. A lot. All kinds of stuff.
And when I’m not reading or writing I’ll be reading about writing. Like Stephen King’s On Writing that has been on my list for a while and I finally read it. Or indie author’s blogs like Ksenia Anske who gives her novels out for free or Ashley R. Carlson who wrote and published her first novel in six months.
It’s inspiring and it makes me believe I can do this. And when I watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on creativity I just think ‘Man, that’s what I want to be when I grow up.’