Hi, it’s me, and I am going to shamefully look past the fact that I didn’t post anything in February and I hope you can too. Honestly, where did that month go?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know one of the biggest things I suffer from is self-doubt. I know many others do as well, and it seems this little beast takes ahold of many writers and artists.
When I was young, I would sit for hours in my room and just write. Typing away on my old desktop, I’d blissfully create words that I wanted to read without much regard to who else would see it.
But now, I’m hyper aware of every word I put on the page and I think this is getting in my way. I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of writing books and podcasts about publishing, craft and marketing.
The problem with this is, I’ve been so focused on what others are doing in this space that I forget that I need to do what works for me, not try to mash together pieces of others’ process and make it fit my own.
I’ve never been a plotter. But with my current WIP I plotted every scene before even writing that when I got down to it, the fun was sucked out of it. So I veered off path and the story took off in a new direction. I had to go back and rework the outline multiple times to fit what the story was evolving into.
My boyfriend said something that made me stop and think about what I was doing:
Just write. Stop listening to all of the noise and don’t let what others think stand in your way. The best way to know if something is good is to just get it out there and let your readers decide.
He’s right. (As usual, though I hate to admit it.)
I’ve decided to stop worrying so much about my outline, or whether others will want to read my story and write the story that I want to read, with attention to the expectations that I would have as a reader as well.
My story is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, but it is a retelling of the Norwegian version of the tale called The Lindworm Prince. It has morphed several times since I first put words on the page.
Writing isn’t a linear process from start to finish. For some, it might be.
I prefer to take the scenic route, taking in all my surroundings, veering off the path and perhaps circling back to revisit parts of the trail I missed.
But in the end, I’ll reach my destination. And you will too.