Last week I finally began writing my novel. I just sat down and started writing it, for real. 

I got the gears turning in Alice Bradley’s online writing class, The Practice of Writing   It was a good start and for one of the prompts I wrote what will be a key scene in my book.

I’ve also been digging into my old letters, diaries and photographs and really looking at the period in my life that I want to write about. It’s been emotional and hard, but a critical part of what I need to do to tell this story.

A breakthrough moment for me was deciding to write my story as biographical fiction. I had been really hung up on writing a memoir and getting all the facts correct, but choosing to make this a fiction will help me to let go of the need to get every single thing exactly right, and just let me tell the best story I can.

I also chose to write in third person. For the prompt that I wrote in Alice’s class, I wrote in first person and it was fine, but I find myself writing a little stiffly in first person, especially when it’s my own story. Choosing third person point of view helps me get out of my own head, create characters and give myself some perspective on the story. I find it just flows out much better.

Now, to just keep at it! As soon as the kids are done school and summer camp begins, I will have some big blocks of time to dedicate to writing. I’m hoping to have a first draft done by the end of the summer, but I’ve got to see how it goes. It may take me longer than I think, especially because it feels like I am learning the ropes as I go. I’ll probably give myself until the end of the year to have something worthwhile to consider.

These things take time, don’t they? It’s been seven months since I set this goal and while I haven’t put anything down on paper in that time, I do feel like I have been researching and thinking through what I need to do. But, at some point, you just have to sit down and get started.