Those who don't believe in magic will never find it - Roald Dahl
As I type this entry, the printer is busy printing out the official first draft of my first novel. Or the official final draft, I suppose. It depends what happens from here.
I wrote in an earlier post (read here) that I started writing a novel when my friend Tara challenged me to participate in NaNoWriMo. I would never have even considered trying it at this stage of my life without her prompting. As it turns out, I am so glad that I did.
It was hard to find the time, yes, but unlike painting or charcoal drawing (which I have desperately tried but pretty much failed to make time for over the past couple of years), I could sit at the computer when I had half an hour and start and stop without any set up or clean up time. And, unlike painting, which requires standing in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in hand, I could also progress with my story by creating chapters in my head at the gym, on a run, or as I folded laundry. It was nice to think of matching socks as a worthy part of a creative process.
As for my book, I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with it from here. So far, three very unbiased editors have read and loved my book. (Okay, my mom, my husband and my eight-year-old daughter.) I am optimistic but realistic about my chances for actually getting it published. But whether I end up self-publishing or getting it officially published, I feel confident that something will work out.
After my mom and I wrote Cecily Cicada, I wasn't sure if I'd ever write a book again. The idea for Cecily Cicada hit me like a lightning bolt and my mom immediately convinced me that it would be a success. After that, no lightning struck and I eventually considered that none might ever strike again. This time, Tara basically forced me to create my own lightning bolt. I headed out for a run after getting her NaNoWriMo challenge email and knew I had to come home with a plot for a book. On that run, I realized that the magic of an idea was always there, I just had to go after it, rather than waiting for it to strike.
I've also come to realize that I need to write. I love the process of creating a world outside my own and diving into it, getting to know the characters along the way. And I am ultimately happier in my own world when I've given myself time to explore that creative process.
And so, while there's still a lot to do if I want to get my book out to the public, for now the writing process is coming to an end. I'm ready to start another one. Instead of waiting this time, I think I'll just head out for another run.