The Education of Intern Sara: Lessons learned from the Undead Duo
Air-Guitar, Mind-writing and the Dreaded “First” Chapter
mind-writing mīnd-rīti ng
When a would-be-author creates brilliant scenes and dialogue in her mind that would-be a novel if only she could actually get herself to write down said brilliance. Can also be described as the writing equivalent of playing air guitar. In both cases the would-be artist would actually-be learning something and creating art if she spent nearly as much time holding a pen or guitar pick as she does wowing the audience in her mind.
A person who would like to be an author but is too damned type-A-personality-perfectionist-my-office-needs-to-be-perfectly-organized-and-color-coded-or-I can’t –write to actually be an author. The enemy of the would-be-author is herself.
Hello my name is Intern Sara and I am a mind-writer. And yes, I started off with fake dictionary entries. My apologies but if Beyonce and Rachel Ray get to invent words, so do I [“EVOO” and “bootylicious” are not even cool words]. After all, I am a would-be-author and we invent stuff all of the time. Except this time I wrote it down so it counts.
So here’s the thing, I can’t yet preach to you the virtues of or importance of mind-writing because I have yet to prove it’s worth to myself. I am however convinced that once I complete my first novel (which I officially started a couple of weeks ago) that I can update my definition of mind-writing and give it the value it deserves. For now though, I have to admit that mind-writing has gotten me nowhere. Why? Because there’s a sense of satisfaction that comes from playing these stories out in your mind which temporarily alleviates the need to actually write these things down. The result? You spend years conceptualizing and mind-writing your first three would-be-novels.
Fear not readers! The Undead Duo have donned their capes and standard issue knee-high boots and are swooping in for a rescue as we speak. Well, technically they swooped in the day Julie tweeted that they had this new “Intern Sara” person, which was like a few weeks ago, but I think you get my point.
Here’s why being the Undead Duo’s Intern is so damned cool. Coolness listed in no particular order.
- You get to hang out with two of the coolest and funniest people you’ll ever know (which is very entertaining as well as amusing. I haven’t actually had any beverages projectile from my nostrils or anything, but it’s only a matter of time)
- You are in the presence of talent and drive (which is both inspiring and motivating)
- You have an automatic support system, who have already decided that you ARE in fact going to write this novel as well as the two others kicking around in your head. (Always nice to hear)
- Lastly (but only because I’m trying to keep it short and sweet) they’ve already been there and they can do things for you like give you advice and share mind-blowing fun facts with you (wait for it…)
Here’s one that blew my mind.
Did you know that you absolutely do not have to start your novel with the perfect first sentence, followed by a perfect second sentence, which would inevitably make up the first perfect paragraph, leading to the first perfect chapter?
You might have known this, but for some reason, it never occurred to me that I could just start writing. The funny thing is I know this from other aspects of my life but when you Type-A your way through life, you can allow yourself to forget the most obvious of facts. Ready for the fun fact? When Julie started writing RUNNING HOME, the “first chapter” she wrote ended up being chapter 25. The “first chapter” Kristen wrote when she started writing BECAUSE THE NIGHT ended up being chapter 22. And I’m willing to bet a lot of “first paragraphs” written don’t even make it into the book at all.
So, with that I started writing the “first paragraph” of my first novel. I got it down
and I’m ready for paragraph two, and three … No more mind-writing. From now on, it’s pen, paper and the clickety, clackety sounds of a keyboard for me.
Writing or Bust!
Perfectionism be damned!
* Disclaimer: Although it may have strongly been implied that the author of this blog posting plays air guitar, let it be known that such acts have never, and will never occur. Although she is guilty of mind-writing, she would NEVER play air guitar.