I am finding this entire experience to be exhilarating. And challenging. And framework-changing.
The strongest feeling and thought I have at this point in the novel-writing process is this:
I never should have been afraid to just jump in and write down the story.
Yet, for years, I was. Doubt always ate away any potential inkling that maybe I should write it down.
For years, I've imagined up scenarios with this character, but in my head, those story lines never seemed very developed. Each morning I take the dogs for a walk, and in my head, I would think out llittle plots and details.
Those walks are an hour tops and well, I felt there was only so much I can do, in my head, in an hour. Especially when I have to focus on the important stuff like crossing busy streets, or visiting with the occassional fellow dog walker, or picking up doggie doo without getting it on my mittens.
Namely, I felt like I was not creating enough in my head during that time to give it any merit.
So, for years, I've been hesitant to put the story down. For lack of developed plot, lack of interesting characters, or enough characters. For fear of having an inauthentic voice in the creation of characters who think things and have careers outside the realm of my daily life.
Now I feel silly for letting all of those fears dictate me. Chalk this up to a Big Life Lesson that I am so glad I have learned now, before another year goes by.
What I'm learning is that as I immerse myself into this world of writing a novel, my characters are coming to life. My plot is deepening, growing, twisting and turning.
I mean, 7 days in for me, and I know how my novel is going to end! I was so worried that I would have no idea how to end it. I was unsure if there was even enough of a story to actually have an ending.
I still have the same routine of sorts. I get up, get the the kids ready for school, and we walk the dogs with us on the way there. I kiss my babies good-bye, then continue my walk with my canine companions for another half hour or so. I give that time to thinking about my story.
I arrive back home, pour a cup of coffee, and sit down to write.
I'm learning to trust in the process. That, like millions of writers before me have learned, that you sit and you put words on paper and you get that first draft down, quality and inner editor be damned. I am reading the pep talks from other NaNoWriMo writers and I'm taking them as truth. I am trusting in the same process that they trusted in.
I'm going to have a lot of work, post-first draft.
But I am SO very excited for that work.
I need to deepen my characters. Work on building relationships with one another. Deal with some quirky plot inconsistencies.
I need to research certain careers. I really need to look at a map or two and read some restaurant reviews.
It's gonna be fun. For real. I'm not being facetious. I'm so amped by this whole process. Parts of my brain that haven't been used for years are being put into use again, being challenged and stretched.
When first beginning, I was mortified at the thought of having someone else read my work. Not anymore. That no longer scares me. The draft will be there. To be challenged, changed, improved. After all the work that has gone into it, I no longer feel uncomfortable with the thought of letting someone else read it.
21,022 words. Words that were non-existent before 7 days ago. 28,798 delicious words to go.
I am doing this. And it feels good.