One of the best things I ever did was write a book. Let me anticipate your questions: no, it wasn’t published; it’s about blue crabs and murder; no, you can’t read it.
My book is in a cardboard box. I don’t pull it out often, but sometimes when writing gets too hard — when it seems easier to give up, and when I think I can’t possibly make writing a part of my life — I see the tall stack of pages, and I am reminded that it’s just writing.
(Now making lunch for a toddler every day that includes foods outside the basic cheese group — macaroni and cheese, cheese crackers, string cheese, and cottage cheese — that is the hardest damn thing I have ever done in my entire life.)
A lot of people have asked me how I did it — how I made the jump from saying I would one day write a novel to actually writing a novel. As I am now in the midst of writing my second novel (which I sincerely hope is better than the first one), I thought I would break down my creative process in case it helps someone else crash through that first barrier (click to make larger):