If you sit and stare at a lump of clay nothing will happen. But if you start molding it, shaping it, twisting it around, making changes, something develops.
It is the only way. If you knew someone who liked the idea of clay sculpting but was “blocked” or couldn’t think of anything what would you tell them? Something like, “Well, why don’t you play around with some clay and see what it wants you to make?” Sounds so simple right? However, we as writers find it so easy to come up with reasons we don’t write. We all have used all of them… not enough time, blocked, more research, yada yada.
Answer, go play around with it and see what comes out of your head. Anything else is a fantasy. And, no matter how long you’ve been at this, your first draft will be terrible. That’s when you mold it, shape it, twist it and make changes. Then…you will have something you can get your arms around.
Now, go find some clay and fire it up.
it’s supposed to be, at least for the first draft. Think about any writing you’ve done and looked back at, some good, some mediocre and some awful. Welcome to the club…that’s the game we play here and those situations are as rudimentary to it as fumbles in football or errors in baseball.
Need more? How about when they show those goofs at the end of a funny movie during the credits. Did they chuck it all in and decide they’re terrible at movie making? No, they laughed about it, redid it – and still had the gumption to leave it in the movie.
Let’s think that way in our writing – garbage is inevitable, fix it, laugh and learn, onto the next chapter.
Now go fire it up.
whether or not you write today. Your editor? Nope. Your agent? Wrong. Your spouse? Maybe.
They are important, sure. But you can mislead them, make reasons and rationales as to why nothing was put on the page today, and maybe they’ll believe you, maybe they won’t.
It’s you buddy. When you can rationalize your way to believing it’s okay not to do something that moves your goal forward- well, that’s when it gets dangerous.
Be your strongest coach. These others may have your best interest at heart, and you may find some temporary motivation in some book or article – but in the end, you and what’s inside you already have what it takes, stop delaying and fire it up.
Once you start you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.
Isn’t that the crux of it? Just as you can tell when someone is sandbagging or BS’ing you by using jargon, changing subjects, talking slower, etc…you can fool yourself to the point that you actually have rationalized away a perfectly good action plan.
Your biggest obstacle in life is yourself. You can make the obstacle more formidable by setting it up as an intricate web of reasons and trapdoors that would hinder your progress..
Or.. You can just go do the thing.
Sure, think ahead, plan, be prudent…but stay out of your own way.
Now go fire it up and do that thing. Think later why it wouldn’t work, you just might surprise yourself.