December 7th, 2019
My plan did not go as… well… planned.
After my last post, I drank about three cups of coffee, stared at the blank page before me for about five minutes, and then shut my laptop with a snap.
I have no idea where this fear is coming from. Does anyone else feel this way when having to start your draft?
I mean, this will be like, the seventh attempt at a first draft written and hopefully, finally, completed. So, I should not be or feel so terrified. But somehow, it feels definitive. Like this is the moment of truth, whether it takes or not is what will define me as a writer. If I fail at this attempt, especially now that I made it public, then that is it. I will never complete it. I will never actually do it.
Stupid of course, to think this way. I can’t help it though. I spent the week in shambles over when I actually will begin, and how, and where, and if what I have is enough to go off of, or if it should be revised and more concrete action should be taken to perfect the setting and characters.
Basically, should I go back to plotting (which again I rarely do, and feel it takes away from the excitement) or should I be my pantser-self and just do it!
Now, sitting in this cafe, with the most delicious tiramisu you could ever have by the way, I had a thought that I should’ve had sooner.
Planning isn’t always the answer. But sometimes, it can be part of it.
Yeah, me saying “I will begin drafting and start as soon as I can and just shove in a couple hours a day to get some words out” is a plan that could have worked… but it wasn’t a plan that would have brought me the success I wanted.
In order to do that, I realized:
- I have to actually schedule out the timeslots I think I would be able to squeeze some writing in. If you have a full time, “9-5” type of job, this is crucial because half your day is spent doing something other than writing. So, when you finally come back home, there are a million little and possibly big things to complete before you are able to rest for the night. Indicating the times I will sit and write, each day is important – at least until a routine is established.
- Outlining can bring about confidence but everyone outlines differently and don’t subject yourself to one kind. Outline through photos, music, chapters, even quotes your characters will say. Anything works to getting you from point A to point B without taking away any excitement from the writing process itself.
- I cannot jump out of my story as often as I do and go as long as I do without writing. I mean, I am immersed in my story as it is all I think about, but jumping in and out the way that I have been is not helping me keep stability in my story. I remember reading once the beautiful and great Holly Black once said that when you jump in and out of writing it is similar to jumping in and out of the water. It’ll always be cold every time you leave and come back, but if you stay, it gets warmer and more comfortable. I need to get back in the water, and stay there.
- I need to bite the bullet. Sometimes you just have to do it. That’s it. No plans, buts, or ifs. If reflection is needed to understanding yourself, and your story, and your purpose, okay. Self-reflect, get your shit together, and get to it.
- Which brings me to this point – SHUT OUT NEGATIVITY. This is both from people around who are not benefiting or encouraging you to be your best and the things that do not bring you happiness. I learned this when I received a sweet tweet telling me I can do this. I can and will write this book. It made all the difference in the world to have someone who didn’t know me, want the best and positive outcome for me.
It’s these things that will get me where I want to be. And it’s these things that I encourage anyone else struggling and fearing for their story to take into account.
I am always here too. I am always rooting for those aspiring authors, dealing with self-doubt, fear, and ultimate worry about their work and what they can or cannot do. I am here to tell you that YOU GOT THIS TOO!
Also Hummell Gets the Rockets from The Rock score is the best pump up song EVER! I was listening to it the whole time I was writing this post and now I am more motivated than ever to get to work.