I'm loving my new novel, The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones. But I've come to a stumbling halt because my expectations are crippling me. I'm intimidated by my own story! Can I write it as well as I imagine?
Of course. (See Becky, I learned.)
So why am I still down here in the Valley of Writer's Worry? Apparently, I'm camping out.
This is not a new place. Anyone writing has been here and played with the echo:
HELP HELP HELP Help help
HOW HOW HOW How how
CAN I CAN I CAN I Can I can i
First of all--never ask an echo. Second, those are leading questions.
Here are a few different ladders:
- Try the idea out - you can edit it out later if it doesn't work
- Get out of your way and leap
- Turn off the internal editor making you question everything
- Stop trying to do it perfectly the first time
- Stop questioning. Start doing. You can only edit if you write SOMETHING.
- EDIT LATER
Um, yeah. I know all these. The exit out is that direct.
But I'm still here. I'm pacing back and forth waiting for a hand. I'm chirping like a baby bird asking mama to feed me. Here's a desperate tweet from yesterday:Know what that is? Diversion. Whining. Moping. NOT WRITING!
I'm rubbing my hands together and muttering, but what if it doesn't.... Is it too much.... does it fit the narrative? You know what that is? That's editing. The bugger is clinging to my shoulders, holding me back with questions of how.
The answer isn't in the how. It's in the doing. I need to stop asking permission. I must try the way that feels best and if doesn't work, so what! It's better to have something to play with later.
Do you know how many scenes clutter my floor? That's not a pile of failure--it's gold. Think of all the short stories! Think of all the new novels!
I'm mining from my experience and using a fire from 2005. I'll make it Gillian's fire and tell her story to my person. And if that doesn't work. I'll try a tornado. I'll be a tornado.
Now get out of my way <shoves fear to ground and steps on her back>
Yeah, I just acted like a bully but she started it.