Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
where there is no path and leave a trail.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s no one road to writing a story. No matter how many books an author writes, each time is still the first time. The only time. The beginning of a new journey.
That’s what’s so scary about this profession. Each time a book (or short story or poem or any other form) is finished, ultimately it comes down to this:
A blank page is once again staring me in the face.
And I’m supposed to fill it.
It doesn’t matter that I wrote 300-plus pages of a novel that’s waiting in the wings to launch. That was the past. This is now.
There are plenty of ways to avoid it. More research perhaps, or chores to do. Days and weeks of not thinking about it. That blank page hovers, but with enough effort it can be relegated to the very back of my mind. Because what if when I sit down to try my hand at it again, nothing happens? What if that page remains blank?
It’s possible. But if I don’t try, it will be inevitable. Right now there’s a wisp of a story idea floating around and if I want it to become solid, there’s only one way to make it happen. I need to start again.
So I’m going to stare that page down and fill it. And then the next page and the page after that. It’s scary and exhilarating. It’s writing. It’s work and joy and terror. Is there anything better?
* Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net