Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A New Beginning

As you may remember, I recently finished a baby blanket for a friend.  Since that turned out so well, I considered crocheting another afghan.  After glancing through many a pattern book and discussing colors with the recipient of said blanket, I finally decided on a design and took myself out to get the yarn.

Then, the real fun began.

Did you hear a bit of sarcasm in that last sentence?  Rest assured, you are not misreading me.  While I love to crochet (it gives me something to do while watching TV or talking on the phone), I absolutely abhor starting anything with a needle and yarn. 

There's just something unsettling about going through that first chain.  I often find myself hunkered over the yarn, needle clenched tightly between my fingers as I count out each individual chain I make like losing count would be a catastrophe of epic proportions, on par with worldwide famine or a nuclear holocaust.

So, as I sat in my chair last night counting chains like my life depended on it, I got to thinking about how these feelings correlated to my writing.  (Isn't that always the case with us writers? We can turn anything into a metaphor relating to our process. I can admit it.)


I find that I have the same reaction to starting a new work in progress.  I get the idea.  I get excited about executing said idea.  Then, the brakes get applied, and I starting mulling things over.  I pull out my handy-dandy notecards and do a rough outline on my corkboard.  I pour over my story "pattern" until I'm happy with what I've got.  Then, I figure out "color" (i.e. characters, settings, pets, and pet peeves). 

Only after all that is decided do I actually sit down to do the work, at which point I transform into that hunchbacked lady who's strapped to a chair in a sweatshop in some third-world nation getting paid pennies a month for working 20 hour days stitching tennis shoes together.  Madness, I tell you.  Sheer and utter madness!!!

Er...what was I talking about again?  Oh yes.  Beginnings.  They least the good ones do.  And, that is great.  Because once we've gotten through the snarly, terrifying insanity that is the beginning, we get to slide on through the middle and then torture ourselves with the end.  But, hey!  That's a different post for a different day.  This one's about beginnings.

So, how are yours?  Good, bad, or ugly?  Do you find yourself beating your head against your keyboard, or are you like me and end up cowering under your desk praying for someone to save you?  Please don't tell me you're one of those people who excels at them, or I may have to hurt you.  I kid.  I kid.  That's what my minions are for ;)


  1. Don't shoot me, but I LOVE beginnings. They are all possibility, and you can do anything! Anything at all! I love that feeling. It's later (like where I am now in Book 2) that you have to make sense of it all--that's when I start to sweat.

  2. i'm with linda on this one. i like beginnings because there's so much possibility and you can start anywhere and it can't be wrong (at least in the first draft).

    now, mind you, i didn't say they're easy, just that i like them. in other news, what part of this writing process is ever easy?!?


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