If it’s any indication of whether I recommend this book or not, I just bought a copy of SSotWP for a friend’s birthday. She’s got a lot of talent, and has talked about writing a book before. She’s been writing professionally for quite some time now, but in a business environment. If she does decide to jump into a full blown novel she might be in for a few surprises. She might very quickly find herself on step 4…
So once you have itch to do something, realize you want to write, and are now committed to doing something about it, what happens next?
The overwhelming nature of task ahead looks a bit daunting, that’s what. You might make it six chapters in before this hits, but believe me, it comes eventually. I’ve been here many times before, and I’m currently in it now. Sure you know you want to write, but are you good enough? Is the story? Maybe something happens that shakes your confidence. Writing a 60,000+ word novel is a whole other universe compared to writing for newspapers, companies, or blogs.
Wavering doesn’t even have to be not doing something, but second guessing yourself that you keep doing baby steps instead of diving in. Any number of things that hold you back from committing to the project at hand, most of which in one way or another are connected to self-doubt and fear of the unknown.
Sometimes it’s a good thing, it can warn you when you’re legitimately not ready yet. But more often than not you’re either comparing yourself to other (better) writers, striving for a perfectionism you’ll never reach, predicting catastrophe, or have a lack of accurate information.
And the important thing this chapter reminds us of is that it doesn’t just happen to first time writers – even the pros continue to go through it.
I found this chapter most useful in the number of examples given of writers in similar situations. Not all of them have had the same experiences as me, but taken collectively you can certainly see how your own problems fit in and are consistent with it. If nothing else, that’s reassuring and helps you move onto the next step: Letting Go.