An article in today’s New York Times, quoted the actress Glenda Jackson about how she felt performing before a live audience.
“You can go onto that stage every night,” she said, “and it’s always the equivalent of going onto the topmost diving board, and you don’t know if there’s any water in the pool.
“Every time I say, ‘Yes, I’ll do it,’ I think, ‘My God, I don’t know how to do it. I can’t do it.’ We are sadomasochists as well as being brave, actors, and we torment ourselves.”
Ms. Jackson summed up exactly how I (and I believe many other authors) feel every time I start a new novel.
Yet she went on stage.
And we write our books.
But It Isn’t Easy
Right now I’ve written about twenty-five thousand words of my fifth NYPD Detective Chiara Corelli Mystery, tentatively titled Blood of the Innocents. That’s about a quarter of a book. Not too bad, right?
Unfortunately, that’s three different beginnings for the book, with the same characters and the same general story. But none of them is working for me. So I’m about to toss the third into the trash bin with the other two and write a fourth beginning.
Maybe it’s me. Or maybe I’m trying to tell the wrong story. I don’t know. But I’m trying not to think about whether there’s water in the pool and continue to dive in. My tenth book was published this week. I can figure this out.
Please share your feelings about starting a new book or short story.
In addition to publishing multiple mystery and romance short stories in various anthologies, Catherine has authored four romances novels. Her latest book, The Disappearance of Lindy James, was awarded a GOLDIE for Best General Fiction.