Lately, as you may or may not know, I’ve been listening to the podcast Writing Excuses. I just finished Season Two, which means I’m just over a sixth of the way through, and I’ve learned quite a bit.
Most of all, I’ve learned how much goes in to writing. Of, course, I know how to write and this didn’t magically make worthy to become an author, but I’m realizing that there are so many factors that go into writing a book that are things I’ve never even considered when outlining or writing my own. I don’t really think about plot twists, character development, story structure, etc. Some of these things are still prevalent in my story, but when I’m outlining my novel, very rarely do I consciously decide what to do with my story’s specific devises. When I outline, I just write out a bunch of chapters that make chronological sense into a story that has a big rising action and climax.
Another thing that I’ve been struggling with is that the best thing I could do right now is simply to practice. I need to sit down and write more. But I need to write what I love, and while I love my universe, Nacre Then, I don’t have a specific story I’m ‘ready’ for. I have around three or four book series that I want to write in this universe, but they’re all so good I don’t want to mess them up. But I’ve learned that these book series are actually things I need to mess up. I need to write their story, fail at it, then move on. It may suck to shelf my universe and its sixty plus page Archive, but I also think its holding me back from a lot more because I’m so attached to it. So I’m working on a plan.
So my question to you is: Is there anything that’s holding you back from what you want to do? Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel but don’t have the money to do it. Maybe you could get a part time job and use that money as savings, going out to adventure once that job is through. Maybe like me you want to create something but aren’t sure where to start. Well reading a bunch of ‘How to Start’ books and doing a ton of research will help, sure, but be very careful with that. It’s something that is impossible to ‘finish’ researching, so eventually you have to put that book down and say “Alright, I know enough to at least get started.” Right now I’m letting the Writing Excuses podcast be my excuse for not writing, and I’ve got Stephen King’s On Writing on my desk, waiting to be read, but in the end none of that will help me write if I waste away researching instead of writing.
So, try to find a work-around for the things you want to achieve, and look very closely at the things that are holding you back from doing it. Are they real, or are they excuses so that you can sit back comfortably while your time ticks by?