I’m writing a novel. It’s a lovely, thrilling and really f**king scary experience. Why is it scary? Oh, well because I am totally afraid that it will SUCK. Huge.
I have been writing on a regular basis for two years. I’ve been blogging, writing poetry and working on a memoir in that time. And then, all of a sudden my friend Meredith mentions this insane thing called National Novel Writing Month. It’s where writers take the month of November to compose a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Nuts right?!
But somehow, by the end of October I was full to overflowing with a story. I was inspired.
I finished NaNoWriMo. I am even now in the midst of editing the first draft of my novel with the help of my wonderful editor Amanda. How did this happen? I made no plans for this! I don’t even write fiction!
And then it hit me. This is why I’m afraid. Writing fiction, writing a novel for goodness sake, was not a part of my plan. And yet, here it is unfolding anyway. I wake up each morning thinking about this book (and even my next one) as if it were a new lover. I am lovingly excited and yet strangely unattached to a specific outcome.
Of course I want it to be successful, but I haven’t even set guidelines in my head about what that looks like…not really. I’m willing to look for an agent and I’m willing to self-publish. Maybe I should narrow that down, and I will. All in good time, I will. There’s something else at work here…
It’s not as if this novel is going to change the world. It’s not about that. It’s about the fact that I have let go enough to allow something unexpected flow through me. I have surrendered just a little. This doesn’t stop me from being completely freaked out that the book is no good, but it helps.
It helps me to see that I need not be in control of my life. I can let go and witness. I’ve been talking about surrender for a long time, and these past few months have really made me put my money where my mouth is. I want to scream “Enough already!”. But I don’t. I feel the love.
Today I will be unafraid. There will be some who like this novel, and some who won’t. All I know is I had to write it and I did and today, that is enough.