I decided to start writing a story a few weeks ago, and I think that decision coincided with my reticence to post here.  I feel like I’m back in school, feeling bad about doing anything similar to the homework assignment I’m ignoring.  However there is not a deadline, no due date.  I don’t even have a teacher whose eye contact I avoid in shame and sheepishness.  I do have AuthorAmy, for realsies it’s her name!  She cranks out books like  breathing.  I’m sure it’s difficult at times, but plots and characters and conflicts and crises seem to flow from her mind to her fingertips that tirelessly clack-clack-ticker-tap at the keys.  She sent me a link, written by another author that she had befriended on this great big internet.  The short essay was about well-meaning friends of authors who offer up their own ideas.  Of course, I had offered to offer an idea not two weeks previous.  Amy herself mentions the essay here. I felt rather silly, as the Other Author spoke out, saying in effect, “I already have ideas.  You are trying to take responsibility for telling the story that batters your mind and put it on me.  I will not take it; I have my own battered mind to attend.”
I was a bit stung, and then very self-conscious that this exasperation was a feeling I had probably triggered in a friend.  I don’t like making friends feel like that.  I told AuthorAmy as much.  She lol’d at me.  We talk online, as she lives about 3 states away, maybe four.  I don’t know if she smiled at me.  I’ve only ever seen still frames of her face.  But then she told me to write.  I created excuses, fantastic excuses.  My wrists hurt from too much typing, you see.  I have warning signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  I don’t know what to name my characters.  I’m too thin-skinned, and criticism will break me.  I have to work, work out, make dinner, spend time with my husband, sleep.  I couldn’t possibly write a story.
I didn’t tell her, but I started writing.  I had a title suddenly, it just made sense.  It worked.  I had a paragraph.  Then I had another!  Oh my cow, I’m doing it!  I’M TOTALLY DOING IT THIS IS AMAZING oh no I lost it.  I still don’t have names!  Am I giving too many details?  Is that even a funny anecdote, should I include it?  Where do I go from here?  How do I get to the good part?
AuthorAmy tells me to just write, that I can edit later.  Clearly, she doesn’t know much about the writing process.  Gosh, AMY!