I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
Years, really. Oh god, I’ve been putting this off for at least a decade.
I’m that old.
Now, I haven’t not been writing all this time. I’ve been writing half stories and letters and diary entries, and mostly I’ve been playing around with a million too-meh-to-even-grab-a-notepad ideas, kidding myself that I was just waiting for the right story, and that unless the planets aligned just so and the right story came along, there was no point rushing into this writing thing.
In the interim, life happened. I’ve been happy and sad. Mostly happy.
Then towards the end of last year I jumped head first into this notorious adult thing, having to face an array of real, scary health issues. As you do.
And halfway through a fortnight away from work, deeply engulfed in Netflix and takeaway curries, it came to me. The right story.
It was nothing at first. A speck of a tale, really, a few jumbled half scenes, a sense of something it could grow into in a number eons of writes and rewrites and personal drama. Months went by and I kept telling the story to myself, adding bits and pieces along the way. I still hadn’t written a word, nor was I seriously planning to. But I had a feeling, just the shadow of a feeling at first and then as time passed a real, palpable, scary feeling that the words would come.
Fast forward to a few days back and I was recovering from surgery, hopelessly sunken into my Netflix and takeaway patterns again.
On Sunday morning I sat at my laptop and wrote a little over 1,500 words. Monday came with another 2,500 and by Tuesday evening I had 5,694 real, actual-pixels-on-a-screen words and the bones of the first three chapters of this… thing.
I had never written 5,000 words of something, anything, in my life.
I had never written the word Chapter before, and now I had not one, not two, but three of them, and they weren’t even alone on the page.
I know it’s nothing. Well, that’s a lie. It’s not nothing. It’s something. It feels like something. I’m sure I won’t be able to keep up the pace. I might get bored, tired, or decide that a life of Netflix and butter chicken is in fact the way to go for me. It might get so bad that I never write a word again. All of those things are a possibility.
But right now, right at this moment, this feels like something. Something good.