Tomorrow I will Stare at a Blank Page . . .

I just sent the first draft of book 2 to my editor.  So, I have some time to kill before I hear back from her and get editorial notes and begin rewriting and revising.  It is thrilling, in a way, to have finished this draft, and have time and freedom to work on something new.  But, I’m feeling uneasy.  Because the something new hasn’t hit me yet.

I have some ideas, but they’re not quite “it.”  And I can’t figure out if that’s because I haven’t played around with them enough, or if it’s because those ideas are kind of duds that aren’t really going to spark up no matter what.  I don’t know.  I guess I’ll see.

I don’t like this period, though. The in-between projects period.  I mean, it’s cool because there’s the possibility of what will be . . . but it also makes me uncomfortable.  I like being immersed in a project.  I like knowing my characters.  Beginnings are always hard for me.

When I was a teacher, I knew many teachers who loved the first day of school. Believe it or not, teachers get bored over summer and are pretty excited to go back to their classrooms. I must confess. I was not one of these teachers. I actually hated the first day of school.  I hated standing up in front of class after class of faces I didn’t know the names of yet, I hated going over the rules and expectations.  I hated seating charts and handing out textbooks. I hated that whole first week of settling in.

But once we got going, once I could call on them by name rather than point to them for an answer, I would finally relax.  When we were well into our short stories and novels, when I knew my student’s personalities and quirks, that’s when I loved teaching.

My daughter and son have been on Spring Break and so my writing routine has been totally screwed up.  But tomorrow they go back to school.  And tomorrow, maybe I should do something other than writing, but I want to write.  I look forward to it, even when it’s hard and I dread it, I actually look forward to driving to the book store, ordering a coffee, and sitting down to write.  So I know that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.

Except tomorrow there will be a blank page.  Tomorrow, I will stare at that blank page and get frustrated.  Probably come up with some really horrible story ideas, and some pretty horrible openings.  I’ll hang out with paper cut out characters that are strangers to me and wonder if there’s anything more to them.  I’ll leave, I’ll doubt myself, I’ll wonder if I have another story in me.  Tomorrow will be a day of seating charts and handing out textbooks. Which is necessary.

But really, I’m just waiting. . . waiting to see who shows up and what we will do next.

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8 Responses to Tomorrow I will Stare at a Blank Page . . .

  1. andimjulie says:

    Oh gosh, totally there. Getting ready to go on sub and I’ve got two WIP’s in the baby stages. You know, the love/hate, this is amazing/this is horrendous stage.

    Good luck tomorrow! And don’t be scared to screw up!

  2. Thanks, Julie! Have no fear, I will most certainly be screwing up. And of course loving it and thinking it’s amazing before trashing it all later.

    Good luck on sub!!!!! So excited for you!

  3. Am with you on this. Facing a blank page brings on a huge doubt fest for me. I hope the ideas pour in for you!

  4. Angela says:

    I just found your blog, and I must say, I LOVE this post! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who’s unnerved at the beginning. By the time I really get to know my characters and feel comfortable with the writing, I’m already half-way done! Needless to say, my beginnings always need a crap-load of revising :-/ Again, great post, and I look forward to visiting again!

    • Thanks, Angela! My beginnings are always horrible and always get completely rewritten. This time, though, I wrote a semi-beginning (I already know it’s not going to survive, but it’ll do for now) and I’ve been skipping around writing scenes here and there and completely out of order. We’ll see how many of them actually work.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!:)

  5. New follower here. Found you through Christina Farley’s blog.

    I’ll bet you’re comfortably into your next project by now. Good luck with it!!

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