Everything that is easily visible is always seen at top of it. No one sees the width and depth of the ice, even close up.
The same thing goes with your WIP’s. No one sees how deep it all goes. No one sees the sleepless nights. The crippling self-doubt. The lack of support. The lack of time. The sacrifices of sleep, money and time you didn’t think you had! And most of all, the writing. The creating. The breaking through the walls, jumping the fences to complete the work.
No one sees the work. But they will always have something to say about what they see.
I love new projects. I love the excitement of them. I love when fire comes through fingertips as a new thing is being formed. That is the magic of any and all drafts.
This is what writer’s chase.
What I think is the most devastating thing is when you have an idea for a work, and won’t even try to see where it will go. It may be a hang up, it may be confidence, but don’t ever think that it should be discarded! Your thoughts are valuable. Your talent belongs to you.
Do not tell the work “No.”
Not everything will be a novel, this much is true. Not every story will become a short story, or even see eyes other than yours. But, how do you know this, if you don’t write it down? How do you know if you haven’t allowed the idea to grow or bloom from the pages? You can’t remember everything!
Say ‘Yes’ to the work.
Saying ‘yes’ to the work requires you to surrender to what you don’t understand fully–which is the breadth of your talent. The depth of it. Following ideas even when they may be uncomfortable. Even if that means you follow it to a comfy stopping point. Even when you write to your level of time and comfort to put away the work. Until you have time to pick it up again.
Say ‘yes’ to the stories yet to be told.
Say ‘yes’ to the stories you are already working on.
Say ‘yes’ to the things you’re even scared to write!
But don’t give in to the doubt that wishes to drown you. Don’t listen to the thoughts that tell you to stop and abandon all hope of success. Let me tell you a secret: sometimes the success is just to start.
The beautiful thing about starting a new work is that you don’t or may not directly know how it all will end. But, be cognizant of the things which draw you to write! Remember what you are creating. Remember that you are in control of it. Don’t be afraid of your imagination—dark or light.
It’s always going to be scary right before you start a WIP. It is always scary right before you put pen to paper. It is quite scary to start a new work! There is this mix if awe and anxiety and excitement. But sometimes that anxiety engulfs every portion of excitement.
But don’t listen to the anxiety! Don’t listen to it! If the idea is there, keep it! Save it! Work it! But don’t let it go.
If you get nothing else from this month, I want you to become more comfortable with being a writer. I want you to be able to look at screens, or blank pages and let what is in you flow out.
I want you to be comfortable with people calling you a writer as well. Be comfortable with people asking you to create. Be okay with people inviting you to creative spaces. You are being asked to these places because people believe in your talent–and what you have to say.
The question really is, do you believe what you have to say?
If you believe, then write. If you don’t believe, write anyway. Sometimes, just sometimes, inspiration doesn’t come. It has to be conjured.