Why is the first line always so hard to write? The intimidating blank screen (or page), the cold sweat that begins at the thought of starting something new. Will it be good enough? Is it right?
As Walter Mosley says in his book 'This Year You Write Your Novel', "probably the highest hurdle for the novice novelist (and many seasoned veterans) is writing the first few words. That beginning is a very emotional moment for most of us."
I can attest to this. The very act of writing that first line is a doozy. And one that I have been procrastinating about (see previous post). Mosley also says "procrastination is an author's worst enemy, but there are others: the writer who suddenly has chores that have gone undone for months but that now seem urgent; the diarist who develops a keen wish to write about her experiences today instead of writing her book; the Good Samaritan who realizes that there's a world out there that needs saving; the jack-of-all-trades who, when he begins one project, imagines ten others that are equally or even more important. Forget all that. Don't write in the journal unless you're writing a chapter of your book. Save the world at 8:30 instead of 7:00. Let the lawn get shaggy and the paint peel from the walls."
So, with that in mind, I sat down, took a deep breath, and.....did it. I wrote the first line. And the second. And....before I knew it I had two glorious pages finished. This was indeed an emotional moment for me. All the years of preparing, planning and dreaming culminated in one moment to propel me towards the goal. I felt a rush of excitement and positivity.
Now the third page doesn't seem so scary.