You are writing a novel. Get used to it.
You no longer get to say “I want to write a novel.” From here on out, it’s “I’m writing a novel.” Practice it. Say it aloud. That’s it. Now louder.
Say it in front of a mirror until you really believe it.
Say it to your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, domestic partner, partner in crime.
Say it to five friends.
Say it to your mother, even if she still thinks you should have gone to law school, even if you did go to law school.
Say it to your cat, your dog, your postman who never rings twice.
Say it on facebook to your high school heartthrob, the one you’re so glad you didn’t end up with.
That’s the easy part. The harder part:
Say it to yourself every morning when you wake up. Say it to yourself every night before you fall asleep. Make it your mantra. Make it have meaning.
Believe that you are writing this novel.
If you think that you might write a novel, it’s never going to get written.
If you think, “I could write a novel,” the conditional could will always stand in your way.
Write a possible first sentence for your novel. Don’t be shy. Write a few. Choose the best one and see where it takes you.
What is a good sentence? you may ask.
A good sentence is devoid of cliché and falseness.
A sentence does not need to be long in order to be good. It doesn’t need to be action-packed (although it certainly can be). It doesn’t need to contain an epiphany, although, again, it might.
A good sentence needs only to convey meaning, or mood, or mystery. It may contain sensory details or imply a question that begs to be answered.
A very good sentence will accomplish one or more of these things with economy and clarity.