Alex J. Cavanaugh. The idea is to provide authors with an avenue to share their doubts and concerns, and to offer one another encouragement and guidance. Every first Wednesday of the month we gather to connect with one another and share our insecurities.
Since this is my first time joining taking part, I thought I'd start with my single biggest problem/issue/concern . . . being a perfectionist. I wish I could just sit down and write, just start banging away at the keyboard and letting the words flow. Really, I envy people who can just let their mind ramble away and trust in themselves to polish things later. I just can't do it.
That first line? It has to be the single greatest first line in history. That first paragraph? It has to be absolutely perfect. That first chapter? It has to be so polished that it metaphorically gleams. After all, there's no point in continuing with the rest of the story if the opening isn't perfect, right?
Bullshit. If I keep telling myself that, some day I may just believe it.
I know I'll end up rewriting that chapter in the first major revision, possibly even scrapping it in the second, and maybe restoring a version of it in the third. You never know exactly how the book should begin until you know exactly how it will end - and when a book is going really well, sometimes that's a total surprise. There's no point in obsessing over the opening details, especially if that means you never get to the end. Yeah, there's probably a bit of procrastination involved there as well, and maybe some confidence issues as well, but it all comes down to just letting the words flow, to establishing foundation, and then trusting in yourself to manage all the cosmetic details later.
How about you? How do you get beyond that first line, first paragraph, first page, or first chapter?