Thursday, July 30, 2009

New and Exciting: Getting Started

For me getting started on a new project is the most fun. It isn't the most satisfying part of the process, but it is the most exciting--in a giddy jump around in my kitchen kind of way.

The middle of any project seems to be the hardest. Sometimes the middle comes closer to the beginning and sometimes its a little further down the line. Then when the middle has been endured and the end is in sight that last burst of enthusiasm takes me to the point of completion. That is when the marrow deep satisfaction hits. But for now let's go back to the beginning.

Starting a new project I jump in with both feet, assess the situation, and then roll up my sleeves and get to work. I've done that twice this year with new jobs and it is awesome fun. Running is kind of the same way. When I filled out the registration form and committed to run a 1/2 marathon my head was spinning a little. I called a friend and we screamed and smiled and the decision to start training seriously was made. Then the hard part hits things need to be prioritized and not all of it is going to get done in the time allotted. With running its that first really long distance run when you return home limping and chafed in places that are frankly unmentionable that tests me.

With writing a novel the hard middle hits when the initial enthusiasm suffers from the nagging voice that says, "what do I think I'm doing? This story is not interesting enough, new enough, edgy enough." STOP THE DOUBT. After the hard middle it all pays off. My new job will literally pay off, running pays off every time I can catch my three year old without getting the least bit winded, and writing pays off when someone finally reads the finished draft and calls me screaming about how much they love, love, love it.

The beginning is where the entire process is determined for me. The feeling of joy and enthusiasm that I get at the start must carry me through the hard middle and to the satisfaction at the end. If the excitement isn't burning up my digestive organs and keeping me awake at night the first few nights of a new project then I'm pretty sure that the middle is going to kill it slowly but surely.

If on the other hand the butterflies are fluttering and I'm in love with my hero and want my heroine to be my new best friend, then I can see the end from the beginning and I'm pretty sure that I have hit on the next big thing in my writing. I had some experience with that feeling this week. It's fantastic!

How do you get started and then endure the process of writing?


  1. I just have a natural affinity for finishing everything I start. Like that one project...errr, or the time I was going to...maybe not. Perhaps that one thing...

    Well, I've had four kids. That's gotta count for something!

  2. The beginning, middle, and end all cause me heartburn. This is why my favorite quote about writing is the following:

    "I hate writing. I love having written."

    Dorothy Parker