Do you ever overthink and over analyze something to the point of it becoming counter productive? This, my friends, is analysis paralysis.
With anything I have ever sought to achieve, I go through the same cycle.
I research, research, research, try to start, fail, research, research, research…
You get the point.
Research can be a marvelous thing. But how do you know when it is time to STOP the research and get started?
Since deciding to take writing seriously and dedicate my time and effort to writing a book and publishing it, I have devoured multiple books, hundreds of episodes of podcasts, researched craft, outlining methods, character arcs, and how to market a book.
The knowledge that I have gained has been life-changing. But you know what it hasn’t done? Written the book for me.
I have almost 20,000 words written on my novel, though I know it will need a serious rewrite to get anywhere near the quality I want it to get.
You may think, 20,000 is great! It’s progress!
I don’t disagree with you.
But then I think, if I wouldn’t have stopped in the middle of that sentence to go look up a fact or research a detail I wasn’t sure of, or listen to another episode of that podcast, would I be further along?
Does reading about book marketing and how to publish a book really matter IF THE BOOK ISN’T WRITTEN YET?
(Hint: no, it doesn’t)
There are so many great resources out there it can be overwhelming to sift through all of the information. I know my process. I devour information until I get research fatigue and then break down and just start.
It was the same when I learned how to cook. I read so many food blogs, recipes and cookbooks, but I didn’t actually start learning how to cook until I got in the kitchen.
My boyfriend can tell you that not everything I cook turns out fantastic. But it has taken me years to get to the point where I don’t need a recipe telling me how to throw something together. I can generally formulate a dish in my mind and then create it.
Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.
But I know I wouldn’t have gotten to this point if I would have kept researching how to cook instead of ACTUALLY DOING IT.
So here’s the lesson for today: WRITE THE BOOK.
There’s no substitution for sitting down and getting the words out.
The cure to analysis paralysis is to let go of the imperfections. Just like with cooking, what you create may not look exactly like how someone else did it (You’ve seen those Pinterest fails, right?).
But, that’s kind of the point.
We all have our own voice and our own way of telling our stories.
So, as much as I appreciate you, dear reader, please stop and go write your book.
(And with that, I’m going to go take my own advice.)
Until next time,