I’ve been thinking a lot about beginnings lately. My days are full of beginnings.
It’s the same for everyone, no matter where your chosen path might have taken you.
Waking up in the morning. That first reluctant step you take out of bed. That second before you start getting ready, where for a brief moment the idea of diving back into bed for five minutes is the equivalent of absolute freedom. Starting your car. Turning the key to get into your office. That first hello. Your first cup of tea (or coffee). The first entry in the never-ending list of things you need to do today (a list you somehow never manage to get through, no matter how hard you try). The first file you open during the day. That first phone call that interrupts you right when you started getting into the groove of things.
The same thing happens when you write. That first moment when you finally make the choice to put thought into action. When you finally sit in front of your computer and choose to begin, you inevitably ask yourself “Where do I start?” The first pang of panic you feel when you stare at that blank screen. The first key you strike. The first word you type. Every character and chapter is a new beginning. Every Act in the journey, your character’s and your own, is a giant leap of faith. Then when it’s all said and done, that second after you’ve typed the last word, you once again find yourself at the beginning. Now begins the editing. Once that’s done, it’s “Where do I start?” all over again, except this time it’s no longer about writing—now it’s about publishing. What do you do then? Where do you start? How do you make submissions? What’s a query letter? What’s the best way to approach an agent? Your first rejection. Your first foray into blogs. The first time you hear the word Platform (with a capital P).
Even before those beginnings are done, you might find yourself diving into your next book—which starts a whole new cycle of beginnings. My general story outline is done. I have a list of ideas of where to start, but somehow I haven’t managed to begin. I even have a title, but I have yet to write a single word.
Where do I begin?
Having been there before, I know the answer. We begin at the beginning. Open your writing program, have your favorite cup of tea in hand, put your fingers on the keyboard and just start.
I’ll get there soon, but for now, in honor of these many beginnings, I’d like to share with you the first Act in my journey as an author—Chapter One of The Butterfly Crest. It’s mostly in the same condition it was when I first wrote it, with just a few stylistic changes. It’s a little on the short side, but there’s a reason for that!