It has occurred to me, since so many others have admitted to me that they have “always wanted to write a book,” that I should document the stages of my own experience with writing. For I, too, have “always wanted to write a book.”
And still, I have not.
Not until the words that I’ve slaved over are printed in black. Not until the blonde post lady pads up my driveway with a special delivery.
Not until my eyes scan the brilliant art on the cover.
No. Not even then.
When I open “Cadence: Secret of the Wings” and I read the very first sentence. When I feel the weight of the novel in my hands as I stroke it’s smooth, fragile pages…..THEN…..I will be certain that I’ve written a book.
Still, in phase “final edits, publish, promote” (which actually blends together like a sugary, sour margarita) I am in a unique space to share my own experience, so those in stage number one, will know, at least, what I went through as one beginner to another. Of course we’re all different, please keep that in mind. For me, it all starts with my favorite word:
Ideas are petite miracles. They thrive in a deep region of your brain; no one can shatter them. Ideas are invisible little power kegs, and paired with creativity, they burn so hot, that you must set your idea free. You sit down with fiery eyes at your computer, and the blinking curser looks like a tiny impatient foot tapping on the ground. You purge your idea with the click-clacks of keystrokes in your brand new Word document. Or perhaps you aren’t close to a computer, and this is an emergency. You grab the crinkled napkins from your sandwich and your blue BIC curls words among bread crumbs.
You will feel jubilant! You may even tell a few people “I AM WRITING A BOOK!“, to which you will receive much enthusiasm and stiff pats on the back.
Oh, relish in that idea. It is truly, original and brilliant. You don’t have to prove anything yet, all there is to do is roll around in the beauty of the word. Idea.
As for my experience, I sort of assumed that with a degree in Journalism, an ability to write poetry, and the fervent desire to write a successful novel, that eloquent sentences would just pour out, like a mystical fountain of words. I thought I would write a few chapters and read them over. I wouldn’t need to edit content at all, just silly grammar oopsies.
Reality, I wrote my first chapter. and I ended up throwing it away. I threw it away three times. Thousands and thousands of words are in a sad graveyard file entitled “Chopping Block”. Sometimes at night while in bed, I can hear them softly moaning in the trash. Useless.
However, the opposite is true. They are not and will not ever be useless. Those dead words are still ghosts in my almost-finished-novel. They helped me work out ideas in my head, while getting used to writing novel-style literature. They weren’t necessarily mistakes. Although, I do believe that I committed some avoidable errors.
One such error, was that I started writing before deciding what I like about the few books I read every year. Also, I began before I gave google a good old “how to write a novel.” I kept writing anyway and ideas were the easiest part for me. There were many re-writes and edits after I did what I should have done in the first place: RESEARCH.
After trashing and adding many times, things took flight. It was only after research that I actually approved of what I was re-reading. Still, my deceased chapters are crucial because writing takes PRACTICE. I wouldn’t advise this as a hobby for a particularly impatient person, or a person who doesn’t absolutely love words. I am impatient, but I continued through this long journey because I am in love with words.
So, if you are reading this post and you have that seed of an idea, growing hot like lava somewhere inside your beautiful mind, I do suggest writing it down. Also, I suggest that you water that seed with information. You could buy a book about it, or simply research online for pointers by professionals. NOT ME! I am not a professional and I’m still just a noob. I’m only pointing you into a helpful direction, because it’s something that I wish I had done alongside initial brainstorming.
In close, in my final phase of this epic journey, it is pleasurable to think back on that first little spark of an idea. I’m feeling the ping-pangs of new ones bouncing around inside, eager to spill out of my heart and commence my second installment of “Cadence”. It propels me to finish. To click that little button that says PUBLISH on CreateSpace.com. What a rush that must be, to hit that button and submit my book. I bet it feels like bliss, similar to that which surrounds my favorite word: