Writing a novel is like skydiving.
The only problem is, you don’t have a parachute.
Where There’s A Will…
…there’s an over-stressed writer.
Look, we know how it gets. You get a project in your mind, you plan it out, you think it through; you become utterly obsessed with every single aspect of it. You spend all your time (at your day job, while you’re shopping, at the gym, out with your friends) consumed by this project. Everything about it is on your mind, at all times, every day.
But then the time comes… That time where you can do it, where you actually have the free time to write. And what happens? The inside of your mind does its best impression of a nuclear explosion and your brain turns to radiation-fuelled mush.
Or something like that…
Making An Analysis
No matter what metaphor (good or bad) you choose to use to describe it, the facts remain the facts: for all your obsession, all your desire, you’re unable to write. You’re unable to form a single sentence, pen a single word. And it baffles you. It really does.
It’s something we think a lot about too.
Why do writers – the people who crave their story most – struggle so badly to thrive alongside it? To grow with the words and prosper as the plot blossoms? Why, for all their drive and ambition, do they hit that indescribable wall?
We have our theories. Obsession is at the heart of those theories.
It sounds like the right thing, doesn’t it, to become obsessed with what you love; with what you want to do in life? Of course it does. But when you think about it deeper, on a more mind-specific level, it could likely cause more harm than anything else. How and why? Because obsession, when coupled with the desire to succeed and be successful (in anything, not just writing), leads to paralysis.
It’s this paralysis that is your enemy. It’s this paralysis that stops you in your tracks and prevents you from working on your beloved story. It’s this paralysis that you must learn to defeat.
Take A Step Back
Let’s go real primitive here. It’s usually the primitive solutions that have the best positive outcomes and effects. So, primitively speaking, what is the best way to solve a problem? The answer is simple. You discover the route – the source – of the problem, and rewire it at its core.
We know… it’s a lot harder than that. But that is the solution.
How do you apply this to your problem, to your need to create but your inability to act on that desire? In exactly the same way. You find the source (which we already know to be the obsession) and you rewire it.
It’s time to eliminate this obsession. And trust us, that takes just as much work as you think.
Rewiring your brain is no easy feat. To put it plainly, it can actually be impossible. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. For if you manage, your writing career and happiness will surely prosper.
Here’s our best advice:
Live in the present moment.
Make a point of scolding yourself whenever you aren’t living in the here and now. If you’re at your day job, and start obsessing about the relevance of a character, push that thought out of your mind. Tell yourself: no, I’m not going to let that thought exist right now. And then get on with the task at hand.
What this does is prevent any unhealthy thoughts. It’s a great thing, to think about your story and your characters and the wonderful world you’re creating, but only when you can do something about it. Thinking things through when you’re somewhere else, living in a different aspect of your life, leads to overthinking, and overthinking leads to over-obsession, and that, our writer friends, leads to paralysis.
You Need To Try
Please, if you’re struggling with this sort of thing, you really need to try. You need to push those thoughts from your mind. Make a rule of it: you’re not allowed to think about anything that you can’t act on in the next five minutes.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan and debate things or future projects. Those are both great things to do. What it means is simpler than that: only think about those things when you’ve planned time to think about them. That way your time management is better, as well as your mental state.
And seriously, if anyone who reads this is struggling – like, even just a little – with this sort of thing, please get in touch. We’re always happy to help you out. We’re not just a writing services company, we’re a team of people who know what you’re going through.
We’ll always – always – be here to make your writing life the beautiful journey you deserve.Follow us to stay up to date with our writing tips/advice, schedule updates, special offers, prize giveaways, and writing-based competitions. Got any questions/inquiries? Hit that little email icon and send them over.