My first novel is the idea that sparked everything. It is what awakened me as a writer. I remember spending hours at coffee shops and can still marvel at how the words just poured out of me. I easily got in around 2000 words a day if not more. And then I stopped. I chose to stop.
I stopped because I continually read that the first novel I pour my heart and soul into will probably be crap, and I'll need to throw it in a trunk somewhere and move on. That first labor of love, will be something I look back on and possibly shudder at the idea of having given birth to something so shabby. The end won't work quite so well as I thought, the characters that I lovingly molded from the blank pages might be painfully one dimensional, and plot holes will be found big enough to drive an 18-wheeler through. It will never be as beautiful and perfect as I first imagined it was.
And that scared the bejeesus out of me. I didn't want this story of mine to be disfigured because of my ineptitude. I wanted it to be as golden and perfect as it could be. I wanted to become a better person before I started it again. I wasn't sure if I was going to be good enough for it so I let it go, but told myself I would come back to it one day.
Yet every day I thought about my idea. I continued to add to it and sculpt it in my mind. How should the main character react to this new world? How will the other characters react? So much so that I realized nothing else I have written has excited me as much as this story did. And that is when I realized how potent the theme of the story was. At least on a purely me level.
A number aspects of my story have to deal with the consequences of choice. Not a super original theme, but one that resonates loudly within the story arch, character development, and the plot. It could even be seen in an artistic flourish that I have planned that may or may not ever come to fruition.
And I have chosen to write this novel... finally. I'm not really sure how it will turn out, and I am still unsure if I have grown enough as a writer to tackle this story. But my mind will continue to work on this story whether I write it or not. And if I don't get it out of my system, my inaction, my choosing to not write will keep me from feeling as passionate about the other stories I do actually want to write. And those stories will lack the feeling they need from me.
I know the passion of the story will eventually wear on me and may die. I also acknowledge that the only thing that will get me to the end will be pure determination and stubbornness, but I need to get this story out of me.
My advice to aspiring writers? Write that story you first wanted to, as early as you can. Your excitement of that idea might overshadow the enthusiasm of other works, and that lack of passion will show. And even if you mess it up, remember: as a writer your world will be filled with editing and re-writes, why should you're first novel be an exception?
Choose to write!
Choose to write!