[This post was originally written for puttylike.com]
To my great surprise, I’ve written two books.
The first was non-fiction, and I spent the entire process worrying about making factual errors. I checked and rechecked (and rechecked) everything obsessively. At the very least, I wanted to be able to honestly say that I’d done my best to make sure any information I was sharing was reasonably accurate.
As a means of handling this anxiety, occasionally I mixed in a chapter of flash fiction. This was such a relief! These random chapters about wizards and aliens and talking flowers didn’t have the same obligation to be correct – in fiction, I could make up anything I liked.
Idly, I dreamed of someday writing an entire novel… a whole project free from this pressure, a project where there were no rules.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Of course, it turned out that having no rules was also horrible… just differently horrible.