Yes, I did go to happy hour. But I only had one glass of wine, and by the time I walked home half a mile in the freezing cold, I wasn't even tipsy anymore (yes, tipsy after one glass of Pinot Noir--oh have the mighty have fallen). I skimmed how-to-write-a-novel books. Two of them in fact. And I can now quite confidently report (as if it wasn't abundantly obvious before) that novel writing is totally overwhelming for one who tends to peddle in press releases, op-eds, media statements and the occasional quasi-confessional blog entry.Experts urge would-be novelists to write about what we know, which I am working on, I just happen to know quite a bit (calm down, I have never claimed to know much of anything useful or important. The mishigos that clutters my brain isn't all exactly something to be proud of). My problem seems to be the challenge of selecting which witty observations and nuggets of personal experience would be appropriate to use, and spinning them thusly. Also problematic is the dilemma of using real life characters as inspiration for fictional ones. Let's face it, I know a lot of characters. And I don't want any of them to sue me should I do a poor job of disguising any of them in ye old tome of navel gazing self reflection.
I suppose that much of this boils down to a crisis of confidence in my imagination. Or a clear lack of imagination, which of course, is totally worse.
Despite all this, I did manage to draft some short character sketches and rethink some structural decisions I realized I could be more flexible on. And this morning I discovered an old note book filled with scribblings, much of which were actually pretty good. Soon, I will be ready to pull the trigger and actually do this thing. Perhaps 2010 will be the year of the novel. Which, to be honest, has been a personal dream of mine for some time. If only I could figure out why realizing it would be so scary.