As you may know, if you’ve been here awhile (and if not howdy new reader and welcome!) I started writing a novel after a 10-year (or 15? I’m so bad with time) hiatus from writing fiction.
The idea for my contemporary fantasy novel came to me while leading my last writing retreat (those retreats make some serious magic!)
But I didn’t jump right into writing.
I sat with the question: do I want to do this?
Because trying fiction again is so fraught for me.
So fraught. Overwrought with fraught. Fraughtly fevered. Swivel-eyed. I will now tear myself away from the thesaurus.
I was so disappointed in myself years ago for not rewriting a promising novel after my agent loved the writing but not the main character.
This after I had moved my family 1200 miles north, disrupting our lovely life and leaving our loving community, to live a simpler life so I could have more time to write.
So while the desire to write a novel was strong, the baggage was heavy.
As I wrote in Why Bother?, desire brings you back to life, to caring, to trying but it doesn’t come with any guarantees.
This means taking on a desire you tried before but didn’t succeed at can feel inconceivable.
It’s a rocky scary place most of us find ourselves at, especially as we age.
Do I give up or do I try again?
There are costs to both choices.
And only you can decide what you want to pay.
From the national best-selling author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and Why Bother.
5 Ways to Start
Your Non-Fiction Book
You can write your book faster, easier, and better.
I’ve written 9 books with about a million copies sold.
I’m not one of those creepy people who make it hard to unsubscribe or email you again nine years after you’ve unsubscribed. Giving me your email is like a coffee date, not a marriage proposal.
If there is one skill we need as we age, it’s the ability to desire and dream anew, to not hide behind it’s too late, I tried, what’s the point, why bother?
I don’t want to die while I’m still breathing.
I’m 7 months into the first draft of my novel and here’s what I’m noticing:
- Staying with the process and not focusing on the outcome is its own form of meditation. I must return again and again to the object of meditation: savoring the process, not imagining a finished masterpiece.
- I get stuck every time my book coach praises me which is a common reaction — some of my clients get stuck when I praise them. I have to remind myself — and them — that instead of seeing praise as a bar you now have to surpass or fearing you’ll mess up what’s working if you write another word, consider praise as evidence you are dedicated, learning, and making useful progress.
- Being challenged is hard work for my brain and of course, my brain would rather watch The Great or tick off a few to-dos on my list. But what will bring me more gratitude at the end of the day?
- Almost all procrastination means I’m afraid of failing and the only answer is to write something, anything, and build a little more of my world.
- Freedom is my friend. One-hour blocks of writing without interruption are better than dark toffee chocolate, cold lake plunges, and reading an epic novel.
What will you regret not trying again? And is that a regret you can make peace with… or not?