You'd think after writing four books, I'd have my process nailed down. Yet with my current book, I'm learning so much. Yes, I'm still a Seat-of-the-Pants writer, but there are nuances to it just as there are with plotting.
Here are some of my latest discoveries at the halfway point in this novel:
1. Having a passion for my story is essential to writing it.
There are two camps out there:
A) Those who say you can't wait around for inspiration. It's all about just doing it.
B) Those who say you can't write when you don't feel inspired.
I don't belong to either camp. True inspiration, or vision as I like to describe it, isn't about feelings. It's about direction and passion for the story.
Unlike my futuristic novels, my latest work-in-progress is a contemporary. It was conceived while attending a series of meetings at my church. Quite frankly, it scared me silly because I didn't know how I'd ever pull off such a story.
I wrote a single page and then didn't write another word for months. Maybe I was hoping it would go away, but it didn't. Part of me ached to write it, but I held back. What was wrong with me? After taking a long, hard look at my situation, I discovered:
A) Every book I'd written before caused the same reaction in the beginning. This wasn't anything new.
B) I overcame the fears by trusting the Lord and diving into the manuscript.
2. Before I start each session, I pray.
I've done this before, but wasn't as consistent as I'd like. This time, I'm leaning heavily on His direction. Is He dictating the words? No, of course not, but He is giving me ideas for scenes and subplots.
Again, I look back and see how God helped me get through the writing of the first four books. This one is no exception. He will give me the strength, ideas, and anything else I need to make it to The End.
Writers: How do you get past the fear element of a big project, whether a long article or a book?
Readers: We all face major projects, whether it's writing a book or working on a home renovation. How do you get from the "want to" to the "doing?"
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