A Fraud from the Beginning: A new adventure, page one

I started a new book last week. I mean, technically, I “started” a “book,” but all that means is I have a few scenes from a hypothetical story outlined in a notepad and sketched out on my computer. That’s not a book. That’s not really anything. In fact, I stumbled over the first line of this blog for some time, because even saying, “I started a new book” sounds like a fraudulent statement.

It’s funny how the tiny beginnings of major happenings can make you feel exactly like that, like a fraud, just pretending to be something you have far more fantasies about than experience. It’s like referring to yourself by a fancy new title on your first day of work, or commenting on your marriage the day after your wedding. The claims feel sort of contrived and uncomfortable. Technically, you are those things, but it still feels like you’re faking it.

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Writing words that matter: “Everyone needs a god who looks like them”

I recently became the last person on the planet to read Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees, and fell in love with it in a way I haven’t fallen in love with a book in a long time. It was like discovering The Great Gatsby again for the first time, or To Kill a Mocking Bird, or A Prayer for Owen Meany. It became one of my favorite books, even before I’d read the last page.
As a writer, these experiences of falling in love with a book are particularly overwhelming. Not only is there excitement, infatuation and enjoyment, but also aspiration. I want to write like this. I want to make readers feel this way.

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