Sunday, January 2, 2011

Begin at the beginning*

I've been meaning to write an inspirational New Year's post and yet somehow I haven't quite gotten to it yet. But right now I'm sitting at my desk. I've opened up The Charmed Bracelet--the novel I plan to revise for Young Adult (after feedback from several people convinced me that this was what the story needed). I even got Dunkin Donuts coffee to fortify me. I am full of good intentions.

And I am so completely scared.

I'm so scared I'm sick to my stomach.

But Holly Black said, "You don't have to believe you can do it, you just have to do it."

And that makes me feel better. It's okay to doubt myself, to think it's all crap. To think I'm fooling myself. The one thing I must do--the only thing I can do--is turn and face the fear. Sit here and write. Stop running.

So here I am. Scared. Nervous. Full of doubt. I'm like the Mad Hatter on trial for stealing the tarts, so flustered and frightened that I may bite my teacup instead of my bread.Illustration by John Tennial

I just shouted to Husband in the other room, "I'm scared!!"

He said, "Of what?"


After a pause, he said, "Begin at the beginning."

And so I shall.

*"The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. 'Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?' he asked.

'Begin at the beginning,' the King said, very gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end. Then stop.'"
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


  1. I think writers must have had this problem since the very beginning of writing. I know once I open the word doc and start writing, I'll be fine, but it's getting to that point that I trip up and freeze.

    And inspirational New Year's posts are overrated. :) I figure at best, all I can manage is amusedly rambly.

  2. Agreed. It's sort of like going for a run. Once you convince yourself to put the clothes and shoes on, it's not so bad. Maybe I need a special writing uniform. I tried to make tea my mental trigger for getting into "work mode" but I make tea far too often for it to be associated only with my writing time.

  3. awww.

    I won't say "You can do it!" because of course you can do it. Just like Holly said!

  4. Thanks, whaddaya!!! That means a lot : )