1.20.2007

novelution: i'm telling

I'm not sure why, but I'm telling a lot of people about this novel. This is a departure from my usual highly furtive writing stance. In the past, people would ask, "Are you writing anything?" and I'd produce a hybrid nod/shrug/frown and slink off. Even my closest readers wouldn't hear boo until the first draft was done.

Possible Reason #1: The need to gather the troops, get support, hear people say, "Oh, that's wonderful." One of the first people I told, a teacher I know, said, "Now every time I see you I'm going to ask about it. Every time."

Possible Reason #2: I had to make it real to people who don't live inside my head, to make it exist in the world, even as an unfulfilled idea. Seems a little less like making something from nothing that way.

Saying the phrase "I'm working on a novel" still feels a little like a lie. Feels like a lie although it's not: the novel first draft is already longer than anything I've written in years, and I haven't filled in half of the draft content I have notes for. It's happening.

Being married in the first months, and saying to people, "This is my husband," has much the same effect. You feel like giggling after, because you half expect people to say, "Please, be serious."

I still suprise myself a little every time I say it. I still surprise myself every time I do it, too--every time I leave the office having added pages to the document.

Say it, do it. Say it, do it. A new way of working, perhaps fitting for a new territory like this one I'm in.

4 comments:

madeleine budnick said...

congrats kaitlyn. i can't wait to read the darn thing. and thanks for making your intentions public. don't expect much in the way of responses, though. the rest of us are all too busy furtively writing our novels. i for one am busy blogging "in my mind". xomadeleine

strugglingwriter said...

I liked your analogy of how it feels when you are first married and referring to your spouse and writing a novel and telling people you are working on a novel. I could definitely see the similarities. Good luck with the novel.

mary said...

For me, telling people I'm writing is a motivator. I have to keep at it so that it remains true. And I love that when someone I've told asks me "hows the book going?"--i can actually respond.
I'm so glad to hear you are keeping your motivation up and that it is happening. I cannot wait for this book!!!

caveblogem said...

I know what you mean, although my own experience was always, apparently like yours is now. Once I told people I was writing a novel I actually had to do it. Until then, for me, it was impossible to carve out the time or the necessary space inside my head.