Sometimes being a writer is really hard. Writing takes thought, organization, skill and a hint of wild abandonment to make it really work. The problem with all of that is, it is really hard to abandon all the organization which is sometimes required to write a good story. This, my friends, is my main problem. When I want to tell a story I sit down and start pounding it out. The part of the story that has driven me to the madness of writing flow freely, as if the Muse Goddess was sitting on my shoulder and sprinkling me with magic writing dust. But then there are the other parts of the story that I am driven to because plot, or character decisions, or whatever else, that stops me in my tracks.
I don't know about you, but sometimes writing feels like an exercise in frustration. You know what you want to happen, you know how it is suppose to happen, but then for whatever reason in the world you can't make it happen! This is what I call Perfectionism- the inability to move past something because it didn't work exactly the way you wanted it to. This "P" word is the exact reason I have an entire back log of unfinished manuscripts just mocking me in my Word file. They are a constant reminder of all the stories that didn't go as planned, but really, what ever does go the way we want it to?
I like to use the analogy of traveling with children. Before you even leave the driveway things have stopped going as planned. What would happen if we abandoned every trip, or vacation because the itinerary got messed up before we even had the car loaded? Perfectionism is holding us back fellow writers! We worry about what others are going to think about the story before we even get the whole thing down on paper. We wonder if our book is going to be the next Harry Potter, but we never finish the dang thing because one of our characters grow a personality and throw off the whole plan. What we need to do is stop trying to have perfect rough drafts, that is what edits and revisions are for. No one has ever written a perfect rough draft. that is why it is call a ROUGH draft. So lets stop with all the frets and worries. Lets just get the story down on paper, and then we can go back and start polishing. Not even diamonds are born perfect.
So here is my challenge, and my goal for myself. Instead of stopping when it gets hard, I am going to push through it. I might have one or two chapters of complete trash, but somewhere in all that mess of words is a great idea, but I can't have it until I write it down. Next I am going to open up that dusty old Word file and start working on a story in there. I wrote what I already have because there was something to love about it. A character who needed to be heard, a story that needs to be told, so I need allow myself to fall in love all over again. I'm going to say goodby to Perfectionism and say hello to story telling.