Writing Beginnings: Nanowrimo, Day One, a Story about Sometimes

The energy of beginning things is so interesting and exciting.  I felt it this morning when I rose at 6 and sat in my writing chair, journal in hand.  Because I knew that all around the world, thousands, if not millions, of other writers were rising with the same intention in mind: to start a new writing project.

So I ended up writing about beginnings instead of working on my novel.  (But never fear, heeding my own oft-repeated advice, I did spend a few minutes free writing about the novel.  Remember, I'm actually cheating on Nanowrimo this year.)

Here's what I was thinking about:

Sometimes, in life, creativity, or writing, we don't even notice a beginning.  It is suddenly just there. When I look back on the genesis of my completed novel, Emma Jean's Bad Behavior, for instance, I cannot point to a specific time when I thought, that's it, that's what I'm going to write about.  The idea just bloomed inside me.  And then it was if it had always been there.

An idea blossoms, and we decide whether to let it grow or not.  Sometimes, we let the idea go but it keeps coming back, so that we know its ours. 

And sometimes, it stays away.  Which means it is somebody else's to grow.

Sometimes, the beginning of a writing project is easy, and you keep it the exact way you wrote it the first time, because you can't make it better.  This happened with my finished novel.  But these sometimes are rare.

Sometimes, way more often, you wrestle with the beginning over and over again.

Prompts and writing exercises sometimes inspire entire novels. 

And sometimes they don't.

Sometimes we start with a bang, and keep right on going.  And sometimes we write in fits and starts.  And sometimes, always, every novel or book you write will proceed in a different way, even though you expect it to go just the way the last one did.

But always–never sometimes–beginnings are good.  Because without beginning, you'll never get to the end.

So happy Nanowrimo, day one!

How is your writing day going so far?  Are you on track with your first day's goal?  How do you feel about writing beginnings?