(originally posted in my now-defunct blog, "Tonya Rice - Writer", 10/04/2010 - AND IT STILL APPLIES!*)
I can’t believe I’m struggling with this crap that used to plague me throughout my earlier academic years… not so much writer’s block – but for me the painstaking task of composing my first sentence. If I don’t have that first sentence, regardless of the rest of the text, I’m stuck. I’m freaking stuck. It’s maddening.
As it may indeed sound, I am a perfectionist. When it comes to my writing, I am. I love it so damned much, however I’m absolutely persnickety and that part of my personality even drives me bananas.
It’s happened this week as I’ve prepared to write my articles for examiner.com. Several places my family and I have visited over the week, to share for my examiner pieces, rest on my hard drive in picture form. My research is complete for the most part and yet, I’ve been “writing” just one for the past two days. I can’t get the first sentence. I’ve got the angle, but I’m stuck on just getting it out there. I'm not even talking about some flashy hook; I just mean the basic, primary introduction to a piece of writing!
Once I get that first sentence out, I'm home free. Flying. Watching the story unfold and it's exhilarating.
Not having that hook is what scared me about considering a newspaper reporting job years ago. Nevertheless, this position is a fabulous education for me to perfect my time management with all of my writing.
It’s almost like my undergrad days all over again, just worse. Vivarin, anyone? Back then, I could stay up all night cranking those essays and stories out and even get A’s. The only concerns were the grades and finding sleep time and a party. This writing life - which now includes working towards the MFA* - comes with a husband and two kids. It’s absolutely daunting.
However, I have no choice. I don’t only write because it fires my passion. Sure, that’s a blessing, but I write because it’s what I do. It’s up there with breathing. As each breath inhaled and released has to be clean and clear, each article I send out there to the world has to follow suit. Needless to say, my upcoming novel has that same DNA.
Perhaps God’s working through me now as I pen this to allow me to finally complete my article draft from this rant and subsequently post it. To nimble the fingers for anything I've got to write.
In the midst of this within the past two weeks, I also began the process of reviewing and revising my first novel. I sat her down over a year ago, only to pick her up again after I finally put myself out there as a writer. It’s all I’ve wanted to do, but I didn’t have the gumption until now.
I’m thrilled to have it nearly complete. I’ll be more than excited to finish her up along with my query to get her out there - as I publish my planned three or more articles each week.
Thank God, the novel's first sentence is complete.
by Tonya Rice