Beginnings Are For the Dogs

photography of fall trees
Photo by Guillaume Meurice on

I’m going to be honest; I’m writing this post because I’ve sat and stared at my new novel’s opening paragraph for the last 30 minutes and now I’m in full avoidance mode.

I hate beginnings.

Usually, I hate beginnings because I always start projects too fast, which means I am not quite ready with the two-punch awesome that an opening paragraph must contain, resulting in always having to go back and change the beginning.

Several times.

I hate rewriting.

And yes, I know rewriting it is part of the process, but I still hate it.


Let’s be truthful here… Really, I’m saying that I hate beginnings and I’m terrible at them so I don’t feel like a complete idiot while staring at what should be the opening paragraph of my novel and what is actually a bunch of strung together letters that look like words in a sentence but is really just poop.

A big pile of poop.

My concentration is off too. My nine-year-old is sitting across from me at the kitchen table coughing, sneezing, blowing his nose (translation: sticking tissue up his nose) and trying to do his math for the day because he is… as you might have guessed… sick and didn’t go to school.

I don’t mind the sick. I don’t mind the constant coughing, sneezing and snotting. It is more the constant narrative he has to keep up as he does his math, interspersed with rap lyrics, interspersed with tapping pencils, feet hitting the table legs, and jazz hands.

Hm. Maybe my lack of creativity and focus is because my son is home.

Yeah. Not really.

Mostly it is a combination of burnout from trying to get the other novel off the ground, lack of sleep because of sick kiddo, and just general blah with the world.

So. I am here.


I was interrupted so my son could tell me that he put the straw too far down his throat and he gagged and then proceeded to give me a theatrical presentation of his throat talking to him about putting things too far into his mouth.

Maybe my lack of focus does have a little bit to do with the energetic crazy kiddo that is not quite well enough to go to school but not quite sick enough to not be full of energy.

Working at home sometimes has its disadvantages. 🙂

But yet. Beginnings. They really are hard. Staring at that opening paragraph that always has so much weight attached to it. The hook. The reason for a reader to keep going.

The Opening Paragraph.

The pressure, people, the pressure!

In that regard, my lack of productivity probably has nothing to do with my company today and everything to do with my brain telling me I suck and I’m a terrible writer, and I don’t know what I’m doing.

When my brain goes down that road, there is no work to be done, just a whole lot of negative self-talk. No need to worry, though, I’ve been here before and it does go away, but while you’re in it, woo-boy, it is a whole barrel of crazy.

Anyway. This random post brought to you by avoidance.

What are you avoiding today?

4 thoughts on “Beginnings Are For the Dogs

  1. Go easy on yourself, beating yourself up won’t make the words flow. 😉 You are not a cub reporter on a noisy newsroom floor, so why expect yourself to work through the distraction of your son? Give it another day and make soup instead. Now that is creativity that everyone can benefit from. 🙂
    Personally, I find it impossible to write when someone is in the room … my spouse knows to clear out with a look or an exasperated, “I’m trying to write here!”


  2. Know the feeling. It’s easy to chew yourself up. I push myself sometimes, and really what I need to do is put it all down and just not do anything. But the idea of doing nothing is such anathema because I’ve taken too long already, and there’s only this life to get it all done and.. and ….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s