I’ve begun a for-real, no-hedging, no-disclaimers novel. Years ago (more than 20 now), I wrote about 100 pages for my MFA thesis; it was intended to be the first third of a novel, but the other two thirds have never been written. Well, maybe 20 pages worth, with many, many more notes. Last November, I cranked out about 55,000 words of a very rough and incomplete draft for National Novel Writing Month. But that was more of a lark, just to see how much I could actually get down in 30 days.

This time, I’m committing myself to write a complete draft. I have notes on the main characters, some background material about the setting, a few bits and pieces, lines of dialogue and pieces of descriptions to begin scenes with. I don’t have a deadline, at least not yet. By the end of today, I will have a daily writing schedule mapped out; I haven’t decided whether I want to commit a certain amount of time each day or a certain number of words produced. In any case, I’ll put it up when I know what it is.

Why is it that committing to do what you’ve always wanted to do can be so scary?


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