When friends ask what's the hardest part of writing a book I answer, "All of it."

perfection atwood
perfection atwood

This quote by Margaret Atwood was the first thing I saw when I opened Twitter this morning and wow, is it a perfect sentiment for where I've been this week, starting a new MS.

I'm not a plotter. Oh, how I long to be a plotter, but that much organization completely kills my creativity. She's already a timid little thing, the last thing I need to do is murder her with PLANS.

I know, in broad strokes, the beginning, middle and end of every book, but I've never been one to outline chapter by chapter what happens when. One Nano I tried the Snowflake Method. Lasted about a day.

My method is think shit up, and write it down quick, before I forget it.

Have I told you before? I have a horrible memory.

Anyway, not a plotter. That's why my "synopsis" includes lots of parentheticals such as, "she is betrayed by the con-woman (not sure why; will figure out later, probably jealousy but OMG Boring, and Predictable. UGH.)." There's also a few, "blah, blah, blah" and "yada, yada, yadas" in there.

So, it's no surprise I'm an insanely inefficient writer. I will, almost always, write at least 20,000 words that end up in the trunk file. One day, I'm going to hem all those scenes together and publish a seven part, stream of conscious contemporary mystery/historical fiction/women's fiction/erotica epic that will take the literary world by storm. I've jettisoned more awesome scenes than I can count. Actually, I don't want to count them. It's too depressing. I'm an expert at killing my darlings.

So, here I am, starting a MS with the beginning and the middle and the end clear in my mind, but the details of how they get there are fuzzy. Or non-existent. And, this time, I have a deadline. Not a self-imposed deadline I can meet or not meet depending on my inspiration. An honest to goodness deadline where there will be consequences if it isn't met. Which means I can't dither.

I can't check my phone every time a sentence isn't forming right.

I can't get up and switch the laundry over, decide I need to make a cake (I wanted to the other day but didn't *pats self on the back*), clean out the cabinets, organize the pantry or wash the dishes.

I can't wait for the perfect word because now, at 7,000 words, none of them are perfect, but they're all salvageable.

Yesterday, I sat in front of a blank screen, knowing I needed to write at least 2000 words and didn't have an idea to save my life. I ended the day with 3500 words and two damn good scenes under my belt that I hope survive to the end. We'll see.

So, if you asked me today, "What's the hardest part of writing a book?" I'd say, "The beginning." Ask me again in a few weeks and I'll say "The end."

But, I'll be damn happy to be there.