Yesterday I typed those two little words every writer dreams of when we’re in the middle of a WIP…The End. I finally finished the novel I’ve been feverishly working on for the past seven months. For me, seven months is a record-breaking length of time to write a novel, but with this one, I just couldn’t help it. It was one of those novels that forced me to drop everything and write it, whether I wanted to or not.
You would think I would feel happy. You would think I would be out celebrating. But, I feel the exact opposite. Now that the book is out of me (the sloppy first draft anyway) and I know the entire story of my characters, I kind of feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest.
The thing about writers is that we are rarely working on just one project at a time. We’re writing our new book—the one we’re madly in love with and staying up late to scribble on—and we’re revising the manuscript we finished before that. We’re also working on a short story or two, maybe some poetry, and trying to journal every day. And blog posts…don’t forget about blog posts, or email, our social media presence and then, of course, there are all those books we need to read.
Our competitive culture encourages the idea that we are all separate. That in order to achieve and succeed we must top everyone else with an idea that no one has ever thought of before. And as a result, we tend to feel defeated or insecure by the success of others. This energy of fear pushes us into a critical, skeptical perspective toward our writing. We end up focusing our efforts on trying to impress rather than trying to share.
How many times have you overcomplicated something in your life and made a mess out of it?
Yeah, me too.
This will especially happen if the thing you’re trying to approach is something you care about very much, and something in which you’re heavily invested regarding the outcome.
There are 3 most common ways writers over-complicate the process. Here’s how you can make it simple.