Happiness is Starting Something New

Bob and I are starting a new book, which is terrifying. Every time I do this, I think the first twenty-four books were flukes, I have no idea what I’m doing, and it’s going to be awful. Except that there are so many possibilities. I had a creative writing teacher who told us that, once we write the first sentence of a story, we’ve eliminated 99% of the possibilities in that story, which is true. What he didn’t say is that there are still thousands of possibilities left. Every sentence you write after the first one winnows the possibilities down even more, but the winnowing is exciting, like carving away the parts of a sculpture that don’t belong. After all, at the end you just want one story, one great, focused, specific story. But at the beginning of anything? Limitless possibilities.

What did you start (or finish or work on) this week?