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Writing a novel is like navigating the world in eighteen days, on foot, and you’re blind, and you have no feet.


Too Much Thought

Writers around the world share the exact same problem: they overthink like crazy.

It’s no huge secret… the community is filled with this evidence. But, that doesn’t make it an acceptable analysis. It’s not a good thing to overthink your every move. It only leads to negative self-analysis and a lack of productivity – two things the growing novelist (or any writer under any format) cannot afford to battle with.

We know that it’s hard to avoid.

Writers spend a lot of time in their heads. That’s the way of the beast. (Not that we’re calling you a beast, but you get the expression.) While spending a long period of time in no other company than that of your own mind, you’re bound to experience some hardship: thoughts. Or a lack of them.


Where Overthinking Stems From

If you ask us, overthinking comes from a dark part of your mind. It comes from that little voice in your head that tells you bad things; that tells you falsities. It’ll say that you aren’t good enough, that you never will be, that you never have been. And then you start to believe this, and subsequently, you think about it too much.

Once you get into those depths, it’s tough to pull yourself out.

In essence, overthinking comes from negativity. Don’t beat yourself up about it – it’s not your fault. Science has shown that most of the negativity you naturally produce is down to a couple of predominant factors: biology (how you’re naturally made up), and external influences during your earlier life.

Someone, or something, filled your head with negativity, and now you need to get it out.


A Specific Type Of Overthinking

We’re going to break this down into a very writerly problem. This is something you can all relate to, and by breaking this down, we hope to show you why this (and overthinking in general) is a pointless process to put yourself through.

You know when you’re working on something – a novel, a play, a poem, a short story – and you’re just not feeling it? Well, what if we told you that you need not overthink that? What if we told you that overthinking is the exact opposite of what you need to do?

Because that’s what we’re telling you.

If ever you’re writing something, and feel for more than one second that you don’t want to write it anymore, stop writing it. Now, that doesn’t mean forever. It just meas that for now, don’t do it. It doesn’t require any further thought. Put down your pen, close your laptop, switch off your mind.

Rest and breathe. Breathe and rest.

We lead short lives. You should never have to spend a single second doing anything you aren’t enjoying. That’s your number one rule, and you have to get extreme with it. Even if this project is something you’ve been working on for years… if that fire dies out, ditch it. Who knows? You may never return. And that’s fine too.

You have to follow your heart and instincts. Writing is predicated on those two factors.


Take A Break And Reassess

It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Just shut it off and refuse to overthink. If you find yourself slipping into that trap, shut your mind off from anything that isn’t positive. Play some very loud music, close your eyes, and let yourself drift into a state of nothingness.

That’s how you tackle overthinking. If something’s not right, stop doing it.

You must simply make sense of your decision; remind yourself that you’re always right. You wouldn’t continue to drive if you knew you were going to run out of fuel. It’s much the same in writing.

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