Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesdays, where I post (you guessed it) tips on writing every Wednesday at 5:00 PM ET. This week’s topic:
We’ve all been there. We get one idea and we’re really excited about it. We can’t wait. We work on it for a while. Then we get another idea that’s just as awesome. Then we get inspired by the newest episode of our favorite show. That new remix that just came out. That vintage look that came out decades ago.
And suddenly we’ve got fifteen projects and we just don’t know where to start. @____@
But worry not! The answer is closer (and easier) than you think.
This week, we’re going to look at three ways to ease your mind about which projects to work on and when.
But first, I want to make sure we’re all looking at this through the same lens. For the purposes of this week’s post, I want you to remember:
WRITING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.
Work? Yes. Fun? Yes!
Got it? Good.
PRIORITIZING WITH CONFIDENCE
The hardest part about deciding what you want to work on first is the fear that you may somehow choose the wrong idea. It can be daunting, after all—you’re stuck with this project once you choose it, and that makes it a very important decision.
But is this true? Let’s take a closer look.
If you’re worried about choosing the wrong project to work on first because you may be choosing the “wrong one,” you are about to be relieved—there is no wrong one! We are building ourselves a foundation of sincere confidence, believing, and choosing to believe that our ideas are not “scraps” or “drafts” or “roughs” or “nonpunishable,” but are ideas of quality, substance, and meaning.
Once we really believe this, even if it’s difficult to let ourselves (note: let, not make), then we can realize that even if we start a project and realize we don’t like it anymore, we are not stuck with it, and we can cast it out like Thor out of Asgard.
And we can do this knowing we did not “waste” our time, but rather learned from it.
Writing is always educational, whether you want it to be or not.
So let’s choose to learn that sometimes the choice is not the important part—it’s the writing. Instead of letting fear get the best of you, try choosing a project with a roulette of sorts, and just start writing. If it’s not working for you, you’re the only thing standing between yourself and switching to another one!
Choose what is inspiring you currently. Don’t think you’re doing yourself a favor by choosing what you’re least inspired by first because that makes it feel like “real work.”
If you are a writer, you are doing real work no matter what.
If this is the case, then make it fun! If a project jumps out at you even slightly more than the others, work on this for a while. Chances are, a little fun will be good for you, and get you accustomed to the habit of writing again.
LOW PRESSURE TO NO PRESSURE
As I came to the halfway point in the novel I am currently working on, I lost some inspiration. Got stuck. Wasn’t sure who this new character was. Wasn’t sure how to write a convincing moment, because this moment had to be perfect. Everything in the entire story hinged upon it.
So I got freaked. I froze. I went from writing 5 days a week to writing once. And it hurt.
So, what did I do? I worked on a short story instead. I got Halloween-inspired a few weeks ago, and wrote my first ever spooky short story, The Dark Prince, which will be available on Kindle very soon. (I’ll keep you updated! ;D ) Then, coincidentally, my best friend suggested that we take turns choosing an inspiration image each week, and each write a short story based on it, due to each other every Wednesday. And we’ve kept this up for some weeks now! It’s been very fun, very invigorating, and very freeing.
Because I was able to work on something that wasn’t a daunting moment in my novel. Instead, I was just writing.
I made a choice that terrified me the day I wrote The Dark Prince. I was working on something other than my novel. Splitting my attention. Risking getting whisked away. And you know what?
It’s been great. I feel like a writer again. And just the other day (coincidentally Halloween night, hahaha), I got over my fears about my novel and decided that the important part is that I continue writing! As I’ve said many times in some of my other posts, editing is a part of the writing process. Embrace it! =D When we do this, we instantly go from a low pressure situation, to a NO PRESSURE one.
There is no pressure to write something you do not want to write. You are only accountable to yourself—the gift and curse of being a writer. The important thing is not what choice you make, but simply that you make one so that you can get back to doing what you love: writing!
So, this week, I’m not going to tell you to choose well—
I’m just going to tell you to choose.
Alyssa Grace Moore
You can also find Alyssa on Twitter: @alyssagracem
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