"The only way to do a thing is to do it" ~ William Painter
This is the quote I used for my contribution to the Friday Writing Inspiration feature over at The Pearls of Writing Wisdom, a blog offering writing tips and inspiration from ten published authors. I tore this out of my daily paper because it struck a chord with me. Many people have the dream of writing a novel. Many people have an idea in their head, complete with nagging characters who want their story told. "This would make a great novel," you think...and maybe it will, but you have to write it first. The only way to do a thing is to do it.
And yes, it's scary. I had the entire plot, beginning to end, of SILVER LAKE in my mind for years. I already knew the characters intimately...in fact, I would imagine conversations between them each night as I drifted off to sleep. My husband encouraged me to start writing it down, but I resisted...how could I do that? It's such a huge endeavor. And what if it never panned out? All those hours--years--would be wasted.
Which is what I told a good friend, at a party. And he shook his head and told me I had to try. "What if it doesn't get published?" I said.
"What if it does?" he countered. And he met every one of my arguments with a similar rebuke, finally pointing out that at the very least, I will have finished a novel, published or not, and that is no small thing.
I started the next day. And now my fourth novel is awaiting a release date.
These days, I teach a class on writing fiction to aspiring authors. And the biggest hurdle is usually convincing them to start. It's the only way to get it done. So don't wait for some magic guarantee of success--it won't come. Just write.