I’ve decided to try my hand at writing fiction.
Confession: I have no idea what I’m doing.
I never excelled at telling Kamea bedtime stories. That was Greg’s department. I certainly never considered myself as a fiction writer. The gall! Thinking of myself as a storyteller just didn’t register on my radar. Frankly, I didn’t think I was creative enough.
But… I know better. My father-in-law is Shad Helmstetter (author), and I know to watch my “self-talk.”
Here are my thoughts. I love to read. I love to write. Whether it’s blogging, journaling, emailing, or making a million to-do lists. Plus, making a living with words is attractive. I’m a digital nomad traveling the world with my family, and I’m immersed in many unique experiences. I’m surrounded by new material every time I step out our front door.
So, I’m going to give it a go.
Like I said, I really don’t know anything about writing fiction. Words like protagonist, antagonist, character arc, inciting incident, etc., are coming at me like a foreign language. I am a bit daunted when looking at the “how to write” books, because they use language I don’t even know.
It’s OK though. I’m starting from square one and I can learn how to do this.
Here’s my plan…
- Reading: I’m going to make it a daily practice to divide my time between reading fiction in different genres and non-fiction books on “how to write.” My two first choices are: The Writer’s Process and Take Off Your Pants!
- Writing: I’m going to keep blogging, which I now realize is storytelling (thanks to Robyn for pointing that out to me). Blogging keeps me writing regularly. That’s important.
- Writing: I’m writing my Morning Pages, which are perfect for getting creativity juices flowing.
I want to keep it simple and not give myself too many things to do at once. By keeping it simple, I’ll more likely adhere to it and be able to go more deeply into each item.
I’m giving myself the next 3 weeks to make those tasks my focus.
During this time, I’ll have read quite a few novels and the aforementioned non-fiction books. So, I’ll have a good little foundation and can start the next stage I have planned.
On January 2, 2019, I’ll shift gears and start writing fiction.
My focus then will be to continue reading the fiction and non-fiction books, but cut the time for doing those in half. I’ll replace writing on my blog with doing “writing prompts” (exercises to make it easy to start writing), and actually start outlining story ideas. I will continue Morning Pages, which can also be time for working on writing prompts.
I’ll still pop in on my blog, but my daily focus will be writing fiction. I’ll keep you updated on my process and progress.
At first, I was scared shitless.
But I’m not scared anymore, at least not too much. I’m starting with a plan and taking it step by step. This is something I can learn how to do and I’ll get better over time. I think I’ll start with a novella (20k-30k words), which is shorter and doesn’t seem as daunting. As much as I’d love to imagine it being totally awesome, I know that it could totally suck (sorry, Shad!).
But you know what? It’s OK to suck at first! My success will be the result of simply writing something.
Have any of you dreamed of being a fiction writer? Does anyone want to go on this journey with me? If so send me an email (Kristen@GlobalKristen.com) or tweet to me.
I will keep my blog updated so stay tuned.