By Laura Drake
This novel writing is very hard stuff. Trying to learn craft while balancing plot, ideas, genre, and market. How anyone finishes a novel amazes me.
Sometimes it feels like I’m golfing and juggling . . . at the same time.
We all have our own ways not to write. You know what I mean – the conscious or unconscious things we do to avoid writing the damn book. Mine is the “I can’t write because I don’t know what happens next,” model. It even sounds legitimate, until the quandary stretches out two weeks, and I’m forced to face the fact that I’m avoiding.
It wasn’t until I joined a writer’s group though, that I found that everyone has their own way of not writing a book. The excuses below are a few of the categories I’ve noticed:
I may have missed a few, but you get the idea. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not being critical. I am right there in the mix, and I believe every author, from Plato to Stephen King, has their own way of not writing the book.
One of the most important things that separates the successful published author from one who never finished the book is that they plowed through the above. One of my favorite quotes is from Randy Pausch:
“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people"
Those reasons are just roadblocks our brain throws up to cover up the fact that we’re scared. We can’t live with the thought that we’re too afraid of failure to reach for our dreams. Instead of writing, we use a perfectly legitimate excuse. I know, because I do it too.
But guess what? When I ignore the fact that I don’t know what comes next, and sit down and type, something happens. . . The words flow and they are usually better than I imagined.
All the reasons above are perfectly legitimate. They’re all true. The question is: are you going to let them keep you from your dreams of holding that published book in your hand, and opening it for the first time? From seeing someone in a coffee shop reading your book?
I’m not. I’m going now to write the next part, in spite of the fact that I don’t know what it is.
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