Thursday, September 22, 2011

Start Here, part 2

We've all started, once or twice, with "Once upon a time," but even with that beginning, we usually don't use it until we know where we are going. The hard part about starting is that we often don't know where we are going and we make a lot of bad turns, enter a lot of avenues that don't go anywhere we want to go with our stories. That's just part of the process. But it's not fun.

Jane Kurtz, today's visitor, grew up in Ethiopia and still has strong ties to that country. She's recently published the very successful Lanie in the American Girl Series, one of thirty (!!) she's published for young readers of all ages. (Jane has also published four books for use by teachers. ) When she's not writing, she's very active with Ethiopia Reads, an organization she co-founded, the purpose of which is to get books into the hands of young people in Ethiopia.

With such a lengthy publication list, Jane had a lot of experience starting new projects. This is what she says:

"Jackie, the beginning of a new book always seems to involve resistance. Is it fear? Is it a healthy respect for how long and arduous the road is going to be before The End? Is it some mysterious universe thing rising up to make me fight the good fight over and over again? I seem to have to come to my senses and remember the only way through is BIC and once my butt is planted in the chair and words begin to creep onto the page, I never turn back."

BIC is the rule we all finally must follow, whether we know where we are going or not, whether we feel inspired or dull, we have to close the door on all the other distractions and busy-ness, put butt in chair, pick up our best pen, find our paper and write.

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