October 10, 2012

because everything has to start somewhere.

I've been afraid to say it aloud (much less in print) but here it goes: I'm writing a novel. Yikes.

For whatever reason — several reasons, really — I've felt too nervous to tell anybody. I've felt nervous, embarrassed, worried that I'll seem too bold or presumptuous or some other terrible, negative adjective. I need to mention it, though. I need to see how it feels when the whole thing becomes real.

See, there's been a cast of characters dancing around my brain for the past few years, and their story has slowly come into focus as I've opened myself up to the idea of actually writing it. But the truth is, I've been scared. Really, really scared. The idea of Writing A Novel carries its own weight, its own pressures and assumptions. What if I can't finish it? What if I do and it's no good? What if?

The what-if fears have been plaguing and paralyzing me forever, but with National Novel Writing Month approaching, I thought, why not? So I don't finish. So it's terrible. So what.

As I slowly but surely move through this wonderfully complicated storywriting business, I'd love to know: Have you ever participated in National Novel Writing Month? Would you? And also — what's the best, most inspiring or helpful or surprising writing advice you've ever heard?

(Photo: The beginning | My Instagram)

25 comments:

Maura said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats girl! Can't wait to read it when it's published! I'm always starting novels! So many casts of characters in my head! Two years ago I participated in NaNoWriMo and actually finished 70,000 word "novel". So far it's the only one of mine I ever officially finished (and let's be real - getting the word limit and finishing the story isn't completely finished but you know). Best advice I know is to just write. Force yourself to do even when you don't feel like you have anything to say. Good luck girl! Looking forward to following on your journey

RetreatingAndAdvancing said... [Reply to comment]

I've been profoundly convinced that you were writing a novel - now I know it for sure :)

I'm on the same boat, but the story is developing really slowly ATM. I guess a good story needs a lot of time!

Chicago girl moves on said... [Reply to comment]

No negative anything. This is fantastic news. Get it, Laura!! :)

Anacristina said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats! That's amazing, good luck!

x's & o's
Anacristina
laughsandicecream.blogspot.com

Mae said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats! So happy for you, and I can't wait to read it in fine print one day. I've been working on a novel for several years, and finally committed to finishing it (yes, finally)! It's exciting and scary at the same time, but worth it (at least I think so). The best advice I ever got was "just keep writing."

Mademoiselle Michael said... [Reply to comment]

Honestly, do it. I used to work for an author and she said, "You must write what's inside of YOU;" implying that we shouldn't write what others' expect us to write, and that there is validity in our words. Bring your words to the written page. Don't be afraid!

Nicole Marie said... [Reply to comment]

so exciting!! it's going to be amazing i just know it! i hope we get to read it!!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said... [Reply to comment]

This is such an exciting venture for you! Bravo for jumping in and going for it!

Rachael {all things beautiful} said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, this is so incredible. You are a beautifully talented writer and I can't wait to read your novel!

Francesca Forzoni said... [Reply to comment]

Good luck - I am so proud and excited for you! xxx

humanityiloveyoubecause said... [Reply to comment]

Laura! I found your blog only a week ago, and I already feel like cheering for you. It can be so intimidating to give voice to your goals but I'm glad you were brave enough to share. This really is exciting news!

All the best writing advice I've received has come down to this--to begin, and to continue, and when you are in over your head and your story feels hopelessly lost and you can't imagine how all your work will ever amount to anything worthwhile, to know that you're in good company, and to continue some more.

Anisha Pradahn said... [Reply to comment]

WOW that's amazing. I wish I wrote something too someday but I'm sure it will remain a wish.
Congratulations and hope it's the best thing that happens to you )

+Not Just My Allegories+

Holly said... [Reply to comment]

oohh Laura~! so excited for you! :) your writing is beautiful- i know tons of people would be pee-in-their-pants excited to read your novel :) keep us updated!! xoxo <3

Allie said... [Reply to comment]

i dont think theres any possible way for your novel to be terrible. ive kinda been secretly waiting for this day ever since i started reading your blog... though your posts are beautiful and i often read far far back, i always want more and i think the novel will bring just that! good luck and i just cant wait to read it!

Danielle Carroll said... [Reply to comment]

From the snippets I read on your blog, you are an excellent writer so I am not surprised in the least! Congrats! I am participating in National Novel Writing Month as well.

The best advice I ever received was from my boss actually. He told me to "write drunk."

Okay, not like totally waster here. But sometimes, it gets the creative juices flowing while putting your critical eye in the backseat. You just have to let go of your criticality (you are your worst critic, ya know!) and get the words out. Proofing will come later :)

Good luck!

Aimee Katherine said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! Congrats :D

Becky Turnbull said... [Reply to comment]

Go you! If you never try your never know will you :) So keep going and I'm sure it will be absolutely fantastic if your writing on your blog is anything to go by.
I wish you all the best :) xx

Whitney said... [Reply to comment]

this is so exciting :) you will be great!

gelt said... [Reply to comment]

girl. GIRL. girl. nanowrimo is fabulous. i'm ALSO writing a novel, albeit fantasy, and therefore i am for some reason more ashamed of admitting it, but there it is. can we add "focus on your novel" to weekly wellness? it's a sort of MENTAL wellness, in its way.

in any event - mazal! cannot wait to read it.

Hannah Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

I know I have dropped off the planet lately (PS - congrats on the marriage, cause I just got married too, hence the dropping off the planet) but please hear me when I say this. I. Am. So. Excited. To. Read. Said. Novel. And you know I meant it cause I put a period after every word. So excited for you and all the craziness you have going on. Hope I can start coming back to this lovely corner of the internet more now that wedding crazies are over.

Niken said... [Reply to comment]

like i've told you before, when your book's published, i'll definitely buy it. i'm excited to read it.

i've heard this a lot "just keep writing writing and writing, until you can't do it anymore"

Katherine Fischer said... [Reply to comment]

wow!! congrats! can't wait to learn more about it!

Treasure Tromp said... [Reply to comment]

how exciting!!! can't wait.

jimmylou said... [Reply to comment]

That's amazing! you go girl! good luck! :) I've started lots of novels, I just want to finally finish one! This is giving me inspiration to write again x

siddathornton said... [Reply to comment]

i greatly anticipate reading a novel written by you - i know it will be great. good luck & happy writing!