You can never go wrong with a little Wizard of Oz.
It's serendipitous that "Beginnings" is the theme of the month for my first time blogging at YAOTL. No brainer, right? I should hit this one out of the park.
I've been thinking about beginnings a lot lately, anyway. I always do around this time of year, mainly because as a student and later as a community college English teacher my years have always been organized around the school calendar, so I think of late August/early September as the real beginning of the year, even though my own birthday is in January, so you'd think I'd have more of a pro-January bias.
This is the first year in a long time...wait, in ever—my mom, also a teacher, had me in some kind of school from the beginning—that I haven't been going back to school.
Instead, I'm having a baby (due September 15) and handling the release of my debut novel, a YA historical fiction titled The Last Sister (releasing October 15). You can't get much closer to beginning than a new baby and a new book. Except for all the hard work of pregnancy and writing, revising, and editing that came before, of course, which I guess supports the old cliché that every beginning is also an end.
I'm also querying a new (and totally different) novel, so it's time for a new beginning for that project, as well.
It's no secret that beginnings can be scary. In both my writing and my personal life, I often struggle with procrastination, with getting started, because I'm scared I won't be successful at whatever it is I set out to do. I'll think about a writing project for days (weeks, years, whatever) before starting. I'll think of a million organizational tasks that need to be completed before I can possibly work.
I've gotten raised eyebrows from more than a few people about the baby/book debuts being so close together, but in a weird way, it's perfect timing for me. You know how I feel about both of them? Excited, apprehensive, terrified, thrilled. You know how I feel about the project I'm querying? Excited, apprehensive, terrified, thrilled.
The thing that grabs us at the beginning of a story is the same thing that grabs us in life. When we open to the first page of a new book we don't know what's going to happen. That's how I feel about all these beginnings: I don't know what's going to happen. That's really scary. And also really exciting, because how boring would it be if I knew exactly what was going to happen? I might be less terrified, but I'd also be less thrilled.
I'll tell you something else about having a first baby and releasing a first novel at the same time: I don't know what I'm doing with either one, but both of them arriving together means that they conveniently distract me from each other so I can't get too obsessed (read: totally crazy) with either one.
What's just beginning for you this fall? How are you feeling about it?