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Friday, October 16, 2009

First Novel: Having Fun

Writing My First Novel and Having Fun With It:
An Amateur’s Take on First Time Writing
by Kathryn Rizzo

I have to say, nothing can be more daunting than the idea of writing your first manuscript. Sure, it sounds like a lovely idea in theory. You have a few ideas that have been rolling around in your head for months, you read books by fabulous authors who are paid fabulous sums of money for their work and then after reading their fabulous book, you find yourself thinking, “Hey, that wasn’t so hot, I could have written that.” And that’s when you decide you are finally going to do it. You are going to write your own novel.

Then comes the day when starting the writing would be perfect. The stars are aligned so that you have a few precious hours free, the house is somehow miraculously quiet and your inner muse is simply begging you to finally share the talent that you know you have. Everything about the day is telling you that you are on the cusp of creating a masterpiece. And then… Dun Dun Dun…the eerie feeing of doubt crashes your writing party like the class bully who has always had it out for you.

Suddenly you find yourself second guessing everything. How am I actually going to write a novel?  What do I even know about writing? What was I thinking, I can’t write a manuscript. I must have been crazy. That’s it, I’m just going to have a Crunch Bar and call it a day.

Well, I am here to tell you to put your writing party gear back on and to get back to that focused mindset because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing my own manuscript, it is that if I can do it, anyone can. All you have to do is hold tight to the drive and determination to see your novel through to the very end, no matter what. If you do this, you will be leaving your writing experience with a sense of pride and accomplishment stronger than you ever expected.

When I first started my manuscript, I was writing it as more as a form of personal entertainment. They library was closed, nothing good was on TV, I had a few hours to kill before I had to go to work and I couldn’t think of anything good to lookup on I had also just finished reading a book I wasn’t very impressed with, so I asked myself what I would have done differently if I was the one who wrote the novel. That idea lead to the question, what would I write about if I was a writer? And that question lead to me writing my very first work of fiction and unknowingly beginning my first novel.

From that day on I was determined to keep going. I was going to continue my story every single day, I didn’t care if it was a chapter, a paragraph, or even a sentence…I was going to make some kind of progress. Before I knew it, my original ten pages turned into fifty, which turned into a hundred and fifty, and which ended as two hundred and fifty. And when I printed out my work and sat it down on my desk, I’ll never forget the feeling of finally seeing myself as a writer.

And what was it that made writing my first manuscript possible? Just having fun with my novel. I never thought of it as a serious thing. I didn’t see what I was doing as intense and it. If you just have fun with your writing, you can’t go wrong. When I was in the process of writing it wasn’t stressful because I too busy being happy and excited about doing something that I never thought was possible, for me. Everyday I would go through the motions of work and my other responsibilities, all the while mentally itching to get home so I could get at my laptop and write.

For me, writing my novel was such a freeing and incredible experience and even if I never do get it published, I’ll always keep writing. Every time I look at my manuscript I know that I completed a serious feat and that I told my doubtful bully, who said that I didn’t know the first thing about writing, to sell his negativity elsewhere because if I want to be a writer, then I can. I firmly believe that anyone who wants to be a writer can and should be (whether you are published or not). And like I said earlier, if you just have fun with your writing, you can’t go wrong.  

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