So you want to be an author.
What you need is an idea. An idea can be anything. Only it can’t be anything someone’s already done. Or maybe it can, only you’ll do it better. Or maybe you’ll do the next Star Wars meets Harry Potter meets Batman and you can already picture the record-breaking movie they’ll make out of it.
And then you’ll throw that idea out and start fresh because that sounds terrible.
Then you’ll need characters. They’ll crawl around your head like maggots, begging to be seen, but still formless, still waiting for you to bring them to life. When you do bring them to life, they’ll keep changing on you. Can’t decided if they want to be butterflies or moths or ninja pirate samurai. You try to force them into boxes but they won’t go, so you carry on in the hopes that they’ll settle down eventually.
When you start to write, it’ll feel like fire from your fingertips. The words will spill out and you’re the next Stephen King and this is your destiny.
Ten thousand words later, you realize everything you’ve written is shit and maybe you should start over, but ten thousand words seems like too much to waste – 10% of the way there! – so you soldier on even though you’re really starting to hate Character B, and subplot #3 doesn’t make sense anymore.
You’ll get halfway through your novel and think: wow, there’s nothing else I can possibly write about this how did I think I could get a full book out of this idea. Simultaneously, you’ll think: wow, there’s so much more that I neglected to think about when I was outlining this thing that the amount I have left to write seems insurmountable. The juxtaposition of the two will drive you a little batty. But that’s OK. Authors are supposed to be quirky, right? Write.
So that’s where I am. Deep in the delusion that I want to be an author.