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The novelty of novel writing…

April 11, 2006

…has worn off. You know, there is something about writing a book, I mean actually consciously choosing to write one, not the kind that gets compiled after you realized that you had thousands of pages of random thoughts, that becomes ritualistic. I’ve written since I was a child, but it has always been sporadic at best. I never actually sat down everyday and wrote. Throughout high school, I dreamed of doing just that, of being a writer, but the path to it eluded me. When you first start to write a novel, it is kind of cool, cute, and fun. You can imagine it being finished but cannot actually gather enough thoughts together to ever get it done.

So, you hear people all the time saying, “I’m writing a book about…” Yet, that book never emerges from the depths of their poor confused mind pits. Instead, what might have been a wonderful idea and an enlightening read, turns into ashes under the phoenix of “reality.”

So, here are I sit, on chapter 7, well beyond the “3-and-out”, “would-be”, “coulda-been”, stage. If I stopped now, it would technically be a book. I could write “to be continued…” at the bottom and publish it. And that’s when it becomes work. The novelty wears off, and I am faced with a real task, a real deadline, a pile of notes, research, and references, and an unfinished book. Now, I’m moving a chapter-every-three-days, while the first three chapters took two years. It’s not as fun, neat, cute, or cool, but it is much more rewarding. I am inching closer to the ultimate goal: (no, not to have a best seller), to tell a story from beginning to end.

How many times have we started stories and not finished them? Heck, my book might suck completely, but it’s the thrill of finishing the story, of realizing how the characters will end up, even as I write it. Now it’s like the characters have taken on lives of their own. I don’t even know what they might do next. I am no longer writing the story; they are.

So, when the pages of the Golden Scrolls are finally bound between two covers, God willing, I can look back on this blog post and chuckle at how dramatic and naive I was. Until then, the daily ritual continues, of sneaking away during odd hours of the day or night to slip into an imaginary world, one that might even have a happy ending.

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3 comments

  1. awwwwwwwww Habebe, that is soo true and inspiring. I think I have been more of the mind set to have a best seller, or a great book that everyone likes. But it is so true that simply completing the story from beginning to end is the most rewarding! And Insha’Allah Allah will give us both and the rest of the writers out there that wonderful opportunity.


  2. I agree with you that when writing becomes compulsory then it is no longer fun or enjoyable the way it is when we do it just for our own entertainment.


  3. it was interesting reading this entry of yours. about a year or so ago i was thinking of the best travelling artform. as i have dabbled in many, i sat in my furniture design class thinking “this is not the place for me.. the tools are expensive and do not travel well and i love travelling.” i conveyed this too another student and within minutes my teacher speaks of a friend who gave up her design talents to write (and he disapproved). then my boyfriend at the time mentioned that i should write more. the following day i read my silly little horoscope which told me i should hone in on my writing skills more. hmm.. all of these things correlating at once or me just noticing them? well… i just spent 6 weeks in mexico and wrote a bit in a log that i sent to my friends.. the responses were astounding and encouraging.. even from my father who has never responded much to what i do. except learning now that he appreciates my drawing, writing and poetry! well….. keep on writing is what i say… be inspired and keep writing. that entry inspired me and i appreciate that completely.



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