I have a theory.
The hardest thing, when you’re writing, is actually starting your book.
The second hardest thing is knowing when to stop writing your book.
The bit in the middle is comparatively easy!
I’ve recently started writing a new book, for ages 4-8. I’d considered my characters, my plot – I even had a chapter breakdown prepared – and I was ready to go. But I sat there looking at this blank page on my laptop and I’m sure it was laughing at me, jeering, almost daring me to write something on it. I’ve never leapt from a diving board but I imagine it’s a similar feeling: this perfectly still, unmarked oblong before you, just waiting for you to make the move and dive in. Did I have the nerve?
After a couple of cups of tea, I felt brave enough to type the title (admitting to the taunting white oblong that it was only provisional), followed by my name. Ha! “This white oblong belongs to me! I claim it in the name of creative writing.” (And, quite probably, insanity). Feeling rather encouraged, I made the next bold move: Insert page break. Ha! Now, technically, I was on page 2 already. Except, I was then faced with yet another blank oblong. Pants.
‘C-h-a-p-t-e-r -O-n-e-‘, I typed. Well, it was a start. Then I put it in bold and underlined it, just to make me feel better.
I could have fiddled around for another hour or so but there comes a point when you have to say to yourself, “Do I have a story to tell? Yes. Do I want to tell it? Yes. So, for goodness’ sake, get on and do it!”
I’ve now completed chapter three and already I’ve gone back and rewritten chunks of Chapter One. My first attempt at Chapter One wasn’t my best work but it got the ball rolling and I’m really enjoying writing the story. Just the second hardest thing to worry about now….!