What’s That Shadowy Place?

I’m more than halfway done with MARSHMALLOW MAYHEM, the follow-up to BANANA BAMBOOZLE.

The full first draft of MAYHEM needs to be in the hands of my beta readers by September 1st so I’m keeping to a fairly strict schedule. I write most days for about three or four hours. In that time, I can get a fairly solid chapter or long scene.

As much as I like to write, and as interested as I am in this project, I still have to force/bribe/threaten myself to get started most days.

My son mentioned recently that it doesn’t seem like I enjoy writing.

I don’t think he gets it. Actually, I don’t think anyone who doesn’t write can ever really get it.

Writing is hard. But, like exercise, once you start, it’s marvelous and feels especially delightful when you’re done. When you’ve accomplished something. When you’ve wrangled what’s in your head, lassoed it into coherent sentences, tied its legs with a hitch-knot and thrown your hands in the air. A worthy adversary, certainly, but you’re the one at the end wearing the trophy belt buckle.

You don’t earn the belt buckle until you win. And you don’t win until you begin.

There are five minutes before you start writing, when you’re gathering your supplies, your notes, your thoughts. Every word is shiny. Every sentence flawless. Every paragraph polished.

But then the fear settles over you, suffocating, smothering, cajoling. You’re not talented enough. You’re certainly not smart enough. You can’t possibly write a novel.

You take a breath.

And begin.

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