Yes, I said it. I didn’t say it out loud in the traditional sense, but I said it somewhere other than in my head or in a conversation with my Mother. That my friend, is progress.
I am writing a novel. Yes I am. Why, you may ask? I am writing a novel bc I have always wanted to. I wanted it as long as I can remember thinking about anything resembling a goal. I am willing to commit to the work bc I can actually feel the story in my bones and the not writing is becoming harder than I think the actual writing will be. I look forward to finding that out. Testing that assumption.
So, what is my novel about? It is about a woman. Perhaps a girl a first. Her name is Katie. The first time I saw her was almost five years ago when I was sitting on my couch doing my morning pages. It was November of my first year as Dr. Assistant Professor of Psychology. I was writing and she was standing in the front yard of a house with a red ribbon holding back her hair. The ribbon was fluttering in the wind. She felt lonely. Her eyes looked like they were searching for something she never expected to see. I’ve never forgotten her.
Although Katie has hung around the edges of some of my more unconscious thoughts, I haven’t taken the time to get to know her. Now is the time for that. Now, when I’m riding out the end of a Very Bad job. Now, when I no longer think of myself as an academic. Now, when my wife is pregnant with a child that will join us in September. Now. It really is time.
So, how to proceed?
- Get to know Katie. Start asking questions. Why the frown? Where and when are you? Who lives in that house? What do you dream about? What do you want that you don’t have? What are you afraid of? What’s your favorite song?
- Create a schedule. This scares me. It scares me bc I’m afraid I will disappoint myself. I am afraid that I will create a plan, but won’t have follow through. What would I do if I wasn’t afraid to fail? Got to make that my mantra. Repeat play baby, repeat play. Start small. Two hours Mon-Fri morning. 8am-10am. Done.