For the longest time I resisted writing a novel. I would read novels, and say to myself I can do that, but I never started. It was a frustrating time in my life, especially after writing several screenplays. It was like this fantastic adventure was right in front of me, but forever out of my grasp.
The force holding me back was a lack of belief. I would tell myself that I could do it but I didn’t believe that I could. It was irrational fear. I had written screenplays, so why not novels? A story’s a story.
About a year ago something changed. Maybe I was fed up with work consuming my creative energy. My life needed a new direction and the only way through was to let go of my fear. I got up early on Saturday, January 24, 2015, and wrote the first chapter to what would be my first novel Tied. The words flowed out and it was wonderful. That’s all it took. That first chapter unlocked the belief that I really could do it. I guess it was always there. I just needed to see the words on the page.
I believe what I’ve written is good. I have crafted the best story I can, and I believe my next novel (already outlined, woot!) will be just as good, perhaps better.
On a related note, it’s been twenty years since the release of Pixar’s Toy Story. But the movie almost didn’t happen. Disney almost pulled the plug. Why? Pixar had never made a feature film before Toy Story. Not only that, it would be the first computer-animated feature film. There was a lot of unknowns, so they loaded the story with what they thought audiences would like. They didn’t believe their innate story-telling ability, proven by countless short films and commercials, could sustain a feature film. They lost their way. The first version of the story reel was enough to convince Disney to pull the plug. John Lasseter convinced Disney to give them two weeks to try again. The folks at Pixar went back to their storytelling roots and retooled the film into what they believed was the best story for them. Because of their belief in their own story telling talent, Disney changed their mind and Pixar changed the landscape of animated feature films forever.
Belief in one’s (or a company’s) abilities can do amazing things.
More here at NPR.