First time typing the words 'the end'.
First response from an agent.
First 'yes' response from an agent.
First night sleeping with your book next to you.
First time spotting your book in a store.
First good review.
First bad review.
First angsty phone call to writing buddy while curled in a fetal position on the floor.
First fan letter.
First author visit.
First state list nomination.
First Scholastic book fair.
Writing is full of firsts. Each book is a brand new experience, and no matter how many times you've done it, starting a book always feels like the first time. For me, each time I begin, I try to find ways that work better. In the past, I've used this tried and true high-tech method:
Yep. The old corkboard and index cards. This method has seen me through three different books, and while I like it, there is a lot of repetition. Whenever I change something (and I often move chapters and scenes throughout a draft), I have to re-do the index cards so that I can keep track. I go through a lot of pencils.
I'm starting a new book soon, and I've decided to step into the 21st century, so this will be my first time using actual writing software. I'm told by writing friends that the right software can keep track of all of this stuff automatically and that it will change my life. Bring it on. I'm hoping to write two complete books in 2012 and I can use all the help I can get.
The bottom line is, no matter how you do it, whether you write in a notebook, or on a laptop, whether you use a corkboard or Scrivener, need total silence or music blasting through your headphones, none of the rest of the 'firsts' will exist without that all important first. That first word.
Here's hoping your new year is full of exciting firsts.