A Novel Attempt

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I have had several story ideas kicking around in my head for the past decade. Well, I’ve had hundred of story ideas in that time, but there are a good dozen or so that stand out and nag me to instantiate them rather so they don’t waste or rot in my brain. I always rationalize that I’d never do the story justice, or I don’t have the time for it, or the idea really isn’t that good. The reality is that I, like most people, have an aversion to failure and will use any means possible to justify that irrational fear.

There’s no way to fail if you never try.

So about seven months ago I found myself in an odd situation as I started laying the groundwork for a novel completely intent on writing it, certain I was going to fail. I actually had a legitimate drain on my time that I could argue was the best excuse to not try this; a six month old baby takes a lot of effort from both parents and the day job isn’t exactly a walk in the park. These challenges were the exact reason I knew I had to start getting these words out of my head. I was too sleep deprived and mentally burnt out to bother telling myself to stop and figured that failure was acceptable.

I assumed my attempt would last a month at most and I’d bounce to another hobby with my extremely scarce free time. I’d find that after getting into the middle I’d stall and close the file, leaving it to clutter up my hard drive untouched for years. I could see myself opening it a decade later, cringing at the words, and deleting it immediately like my old high school LiveJournal.

I’m now almost 40,000 words into the first draft, excited to see that I’m finally getting one of the stories I’ve been sitting on for over a decade exercised from my brain. This book is going to get finished, the momentum is too strong now to abandon. Even if nobody reads it when I’m done the idea will have crystallized into a tangible object. A proof of effort. Hopefully, an entertaining story others will enjoy and share.

I’m going to keep this blog updated with some of the challenges I encounter along the way and progress on my process as it goes from this rough grouping of text blocks to a (hopefully) polished cohesive narrative. It’ll also give me somewhere to put stories that don’t belong in the novel. Maybe if you like what I’m putting out here in the world you’ll stick around to watch me eat this elephant one bite at a time.