There are all sorts of rabbit holes authors can go down. Sometimes we disappear for days. And at the end of it, there may be a few extra paragraphs. Or some minor wording changes. Sometimes we come out with more background information. That will never appear in the finished book.
We find research rabbit holes. Analysis rabbit holes. Editing rabbit holes. Which are all really the same thing. Time-sucks caused by a lack of confidence.
What success looks like
This is the downside of a creative mind. Sometimes we think we’re writing something astonishingly brilliant. But mostly, we’re plagued with self-doubt. Wondering if we should bin the whole thing and never speak of it again. But that’s not how books get finished.
Think about your favourite author. I bet one of the things you like about their books is that no-one else writes like them. Their ideas are different from everyone else’s. They are original. That’s probably because they’re not researching and analysing every possible option for every chapter or scene. They are not trying to work out which is the most likely storyline to be liked by the most readers.
Even award-winning authors aren’t writing with the goal of winning awards. They are simply writing their story, the way they think it should be written.
Successful authors trust themselves to come up with good ideas. They trust themselves to make good decisions. This is what authors must do. Because until the manuscript is written, there’s no-one else there to run all our ideas by. Or validate every one of our decisions.
A writing mantra
So before I go to write, I will remind myself of these things:-
- Not everyone will like what I write. No matter how long I spend agonising over every detail. But some people will love it. This is how it is meant to be.
- People will judge and criticise. But not one of those people can tell my story.
- Things will go wrong. There will be delays and distractions. These are just temporary setbacks. The only thing that can stop my story being written is me.
Is there anything you need to remind yourself of from time to time?
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