A Blank Slate

So yesterday, I had an interesting day. I sat down with my laptop, opened it and turned it on. And then I sat there. No words came to me. You see, I have no projects to work on!

For the past nine years, I have not encountered such a day. I’ve always had projects to work on. Trust me, I have tons of ideas but no immediate project on my plate.

As a writer, ideas are a dime a dozen. I probably have that many ideas each day. And, of course, I always have people suggesting ideas to me. But when I work on a project, something has to click. Think of it like love at first sight.

Writing a novel is a lot like courting someone. There are so many people to meet, conversations to have, emotions to feel. The only difference is that writers court MANY people at once.

So as I sit down to decide which idea gives me flutters in my stomach, I also have to get ready to start researching people, places, and things. With every book, I need to create backgrounds, family trees, personalities, characteristics, etc. It’s not as simple as sitting down and typing “Once upon a time…” and letting the words flow.

A builder does not frame a house without having a strong foundation. That same builder cannot install windows and doors, walls and floors, without a sturdy frame.

A lot of aspiring authors/writers don’t realize that writing a novel is much more than just sitting down at a laptop. It requires this background research and planning. You would never build a house without having architectural plans of some sort. The more detailed they are, the better for the final product.

So, despite having no active projects to work on, I am now rolling up my sleeves to dive in. But diving in means researching and creating the blue prints for what will, eventually, be a paperback novel (or Kindle/Nook eBook) in your hands.

Better get started…

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