Dear Readers, many of you who have been following The Beauty of Eclecticism for any length of time know that I am an aspiring writer--isn't virtually every book blogger you've ever heard of? However, I haven't mentioned any writing attempts or projects here for quite some time, partly because my life kind of went into the crapper for several months due to health issues, and I haven't felt like writing. But that's not really how writing works; writers don't control the situation. Writing does. This mythical, ethereal power that takes hold of my brain any time I hear something that makes me think, "Ooo! THAT would make an interesting plot!", doesn't care if I'm sick, healthy, sleepy, perky--nothing changes the compelling drive to write.
And so, I will confess that I am, indeed, currently working on a novel. It is a project that takes me well outside my comfort zone, a way to work through some mental gymnastics that my brain has been performing for some months now, to sort out my views on a controversial topic. (I prefer not to go into greater detail at present.) The good news is that I've made it past the dreaded second chapter; I'm sure I'm not the only writer who has stacks of brilliant first chapters lying about my house, that never got their second chapter or any other chapters at all. The bad news is that I'm now staring down the barrel of chapter 3, and this is where the self-doubts really begin to settle in. "Why am I bothering? Do I honestly think someone other than me will ever want to read this? I don't even have a literary agent yet; how am I ever going to work up the courage to start approaching them? How I dread the long, hard slog of finding one that is a good fit, IF I ever do!" A whole spate of really unhelpful thought processes like that come along, and then here I sit, procrastinating about writing chapter 3 because it feels like it will be an exhausting and perhaps pointless exercise. I even know what I want it to say! But the act of transferring it from my brain, through my finger tips, to the computer screen as text just feels so daunting.
Am I speaking anybody else's language? I can't possibly be the only wannabe writer who gets trapped in this death-spiral of unproductivity. The only answer I've found is:
- Wait until the SuperToddler is in bed for the night.
- Put on music that I know is conducive, rather than distracting.
- Start typing, and don't stop until I've said what I need to say.
- Give a deep sigh, and make myself NOT start on the next chapter while I'm "on a roll," or I'll only burn myself out.