The thing I will regret

Some years ago a friend got his motorcycle licence.

He explained one of his motivations for going out and getting it done, “If I got to be 90 years old and hadn’t got a motorbike licence, I knew I’d regret it.”

I have this crazy idea that I’d like to write a novel. Sure I’d love to write something good enough to be published, but I’ll settle for something I’m happy to send to a publisher. If they like it, that would be a bonus. If they like it enough to publish, that would be unbelievable.

I have started several “novels”. One is currently a couple of thousand words long plus a rough outline. A long way to go but I love the idea behind it. Another is only a few hundred words long and may never move on. Or maybe there’s a short story in it. Another is about six thousand words long. It’s my favourite project so I hope to pick it up and run with it again sometime.

My best effort though and the focus of my current energy is getting close to thirty thousand words long. It’s a children’s fantasy. There’s not many of them so I figure there’s some room in the market.

I have always been tempted to keep this a secret. Plug away without anyone knowing and suddenly surprise the world with a finished manuscript. But I decided instead to tell people. To chat about it like it’s another of my hobbies. Which it is.

For me, talking about it makes the novel more real, the dream more legitimate, and the writer more accountable.

The fact that people know I’m trying this is helping me, even if just to stop me giving up.

This is important because I know if I get to be 90 years old and haven’t written a novel, I will regret it.