Monday, February 4, 2013

Writing 101: Get Out of Your Head

I know all the things you do to distract yourself from writing, because I also do them. I know about all the questions that parade through the writer's mind, sewing seeds of doubt and fear. I know what it's like to re-read something I wrote just yesterday, and suddenly hate it. And the entire idea. And words in general. And I've got a piece of advice for all of us: get out of your head.

Over-Thinking It

Over-thinking it can kill a project more easily than all the grammatical errors in the world. You can always fight your way through editing, but if you're twirling too many questions around in your mind you'll end up talking yourself right out of writing your book.

It's easy to question, to second-guess, particularly for me. I've practically turned it into an art form, I'm so good at it. It's nerve-wracking to release your first book, to put yourself out there for the world. But you know what's even harder? Putting the second book out there.

Now, there are expectations. Now, you have fans. You have readers. They reviewed your work, and they're looking forward to the next. What if your next book is terrible? What if you let them down? What do your fans want from you?

This is how it begins. It's a pitfall that's incredibly easy to fall into; I have a summer home down there. It's good to care about your fans, and you always should respect them and appreciate them. But you can't be controlled by them. You can't let anyone else dictate what you write.

You have to write what you want to write. Writing takes inspiration, and passion, and a certain amount of completely blind determination. In other words, you have to write for yourself. It's fine to be inspired by others and to be driven by the goodwill of others, but at the end of the day you need to be writing the story that you want to write. The one that comes from within your gut, not from within your inbox. You need a story that's going to drive you, not something that you think other people will like. Your writing is at its strongest when it comes from somewhere you can't even name, because it's just down too deep.

If you're asking yourself a bunch of questions, you're over-thinking it. Just do the writing part, and pull the story out from deep within. Wonder about whether people will like it when you're editing, which is pretty much supposed to be highly stressful anyway.

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  1. Hello Jade!

    As an Indi Author who has recently stumbled across your blog, I must say Thank-you! I have found it an endless source of wonderful information, and I thank you for your refreshing point of view! So, thanks!

    Krista G Johnston

  2. Great post! Don't think, just it!