Saturday, June 30, 2018

Second Guessing

Dear Readers,

I know I said I would try to write weekly… well it has been awhile. I got side-tracked again by Life! Seriously, too much work due to the end of the school year, report card time and so forth. So, I was thinking today about what makes authors seem to second guess themselves. I mean… can’t we be satisfied with whatever we write? We scrutinize our text, and we scrutinize ourselves! Some authors could say they torture themselves for perfection. Alas, there is no perfection, so we need to settle for something like amazing?

Anyway, just to get ourselves started on a project and past our procrastination is an accomplishment. Sure we love to write, but sometimes we delay an idea for fear of failure. And sometimes even for fear of success! Sometimes we are afraid that we cannot perfect our characters or perfect our piece of writing. We worry about the big things as well as the small things. Like for example, which point of view to choose? Well, that is a big concern because we want to match the point of view with the type of story as well as to our characters. It can be very important to the voice of the piece we are writing. A small thing could be like whether or not to place a comma at a specific point? Sometimes we agonize a whole day over a piece of punctuation. “To punctuate or not to punctuate.” It could drive a writer mad!

The problem is we get caught up in trying to be perfect, wanting to please not only ourselves but also our readers and even the critics. There is no perfect script nor perfect writer. And we need to realize that there are several ways to get to the same point. I can choose the same characters and the same plot, but use a different point of view or choose different dialogue and still have a good story, even a different story. Every method is correct; there is no wrong way. There are some ways that might be better, and maybe we should experiment a bit with different methods. However, we have to trust the writer’s voice inside to let us get the words out and let us create the story we have in our minds and in our hearts. We have to be concerned with getting the story out rather than worrying all the time about “wonder what they will think?”

We have to be determined to get the story out quickly. We should meditate, concentrate and then let that story flow out like a river. We need to let all the words come out before we begin the editing process.

We must believe in ourselves, in our characters and in our story. When our characters are alive in our hearts and minds, then we can bring them to life. Then, we should be committed to giving these characters their story.

We have to admit that sometimes we are harder on ourselves than any critic.  We are afraid to utter the wrong word or to choose the wrong plot event. We fear to disturb the flow of our story when we should really just let the story choose its own path. We just need to be along for the ride.

So, dear Writers get into that chair and on that keyboard. Write up a storm. Say whatever your heart tells you. Listen to the character’s voice in your head. And just trust yourself to create the best story. You can do it… just believe!