1. My sister, Betsy, told me to.
2. Hello. It was a boy/girl sport. And, as evidenced by this picture, the boys totally bowed down to me and my sweet Umbro shorts.
Anyway. My freshman year I was put on the 800 meter race. If you don’t know much about track, the 800 is pure, unadulterated torture. It’s a twice-around-the-track sprint.
Did I mention that I have asthma?
Each Tuesday and Saturday as I got ready to run my event I was anxious to just get the horror over. Standing on the starting line, my stomach would flip flop, my palms would sweat. I was sure my heart would pound all the way out of my chest.
And that man would stand, the starter gun over his head. Anticipating that bang, I’d trip over the line.
I’ve written three and a half novels now. And, just as that nervous girl standing on the starting line at a track meet, this grown up novelist experiences false starts every now and then.
This novel I’m working on is no exception.
You may remember that I recently lost 8,000 words of the first draft. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve rewritten those words (and I do believe they are better than the originals) plus 3,000 more.
Just this evening, after spending the better part of the day writing (don’t worry, I went to church last night), I realized that I had a false start on my hands.
Often, books on writing will say just to power through, get it all out before you fix it. From Once upon a time to They lived happily ever after without turning back to see what’s behind. Okay. That’s good. That works…sometimes.
And sometimes it doesn’t.
Guess what. That’s all right.
I personally own no less than 25 books on writing (probably more, I just don’t want to get up and count). Every single one of those books has a different idea for how writing works. Why? Because each writer has a different process.
One thing I’m learning? Every novel requires a different process.
Mine, at least.
And that, my friends, is perfectly fine. And I’m feeling great about it.
So, here I am, recovering from tripping over the starting line prematurely. I’m back in the blocks, trying to hold my balance until I hear the shot that tells me that it’s time to run.
Sweaty palms, pounding heart, nervous stomach.