Writing a new novel is an often hallucinatory process. It always starts out, for me, anyway, with a bang. I have an obsession, an image in my head of something pulling me forward. The first chapter nearly always writes itself, and it's a good thing, too, because the rest of the chapters are always terrifically tough to get out on paper, and in the months and years that follow, that first chapter is the thing I cling to, the reason why I can't just toss everything in the wastebasket and think about going to dental school instead.
By mid first draft, which is where I am now, fear sets in. Is this good enough? Am I good enough? Is there really a story here and has it not been done before? Is it uniquely mine? I spend a lot of time trying to not listen to my fears, but of late, I've been listening, nodding my head the way you might at an uncle who's telling you the same old tiresome story, and then going ahead and keeping at it.
All writers really have, like any of us in life, is the moment. I try to focus on that moment--on creating--rather than fears about whether the book will get published, whether anyone will read it, whether I've failed. In the end, I can't control any of it, but I can dig deeper into the work and tell the story I want and need to tell.
Causes Caroline Leavitt Supports
The Writers' Strike Writers Against the War PETA