Why does writing a novel always feel like the first time?



Each novel is a completely unique experience, even if you are working with characters you are familiar with and whose histories are known to you. Each time you sit down to create with them, you are creating them three times. Once in your vision of what you want the story to be, that nebulous cloud of potential realities which you hone down to just one or two when you create…

Your outline: the document which coalesces what your protagonists want and how your antagonists work against those goals. How those two or more streams of potential realities come together in a cataclysmic explosion of…

Prose. The final choices you make when you put your pen to paper, finger to keyboard, voice to recorder and create the final work; where the decisions are made, the deeds are done darkly, the antagonist has the upper hand until the protagonist chooses more wisely or has aid from an unexpected source or finds renewal in an emotional moment.

This is a complex and peril-ridden process, filled with emotional anxiety, mostly yours, that it will be good enough to publish, good enough for my agent, good enough for the best-sellers list, good enough to spend my life’s blood on…good enough to spend my only non-renewable resource, TIME in a way to create a monument to a moment in my life.

That is a lot of pressure. So, yes, every time you write a novel, there is a sliver in time and space that shudders until you create and finalize the reality you are thinking about.

Indeed, every time is exactly like the first time, if you are doing it right. It should cause you a bit of fear, but it should also exhilarate you as you part the curtains to another reality and create/share it with the world, a thing that is uniquely…


It is easy to feel you are not enough, not strong enough, not good enough, not bold enough. Don’t let that stop you. Remember: Most of what we know in the world today was created by someone who was not an expert in their field. And until the last century, expertise was a relative thing. But most importantly, you have the ability to be as good as you want to be by doing what you think you want.

If you desire to be a writer, then write. Everything else follows the intent of your will.