I started a new novel yesterday. I was going to save it for NaNoWriMo, but my writer’s group cuffed me across the shoulders and told me to drop that nonsense. They are firmly of the mind that waiting two months would let the creative spark die, and they’re right. They’re wise guys…er, smart people. It’s actually the novel that I wrote this post about. I’m wrapping up my Williams Syndrome book while starting this one, and I like that the two different projects pass like ships in the night.
It’s funny; I was so excited to start The New Project, but when I actually sat down to do so, I was overwhelmed with stark terror. This novel is a departure for me in so many ways! It’s different subject matter. A different tone. I actually plotted it out and I’ve never done that before. I barely started this thing and it’s already twisted me inside out! I was overwhelmed. I literally froze with my hands on the keyboard. Can I do this? Do I have the time? Do I have the chops?
Then I remembered: Do Things That Scare Me. Embrace opportunities. Kick that negative self talk in the face. In the face.
I wrote that all important first chapter, saved, and slammed my laptop down.
Do you have a project that makes you afraid? How do you counteract that fear?
Whew, you tackled the plotting and that first chapter! That’s amazing to me since those are the hardest parts in my experience. I’m glad you have the courage to try different things, even when it’s scary. The story had to have been inspired for a reason 😉
I’m nervous about NaNoWriMo, actually. This is my first try at it. I have a hard time with “scheduling” writing. It either comes or not, and I always have multiple projects so I can work on whatever I feel like while still being productive. What scares me more than that is writing about anything to do with my life, anything based on personal experience. I will some day because I think I need to, but it still terrifies me.
You do it. You do it good. Write the things that terrify you. Love it.
Most of my projects scare me at first when I sit down to start writing, for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. But mainly because I like to write four different genres, so it’s always seems like a big change when I switch to a different project.
I’m a plotter, so that part is always easy for me. That the part that gets me excited about the story and the characters. My mind goes into overdrive, and before I know it, the entire story is plotted and outlined from beginning to end.
The dread comes when I sit down to start writing it, but once I get through the first scene, I’m usually good.
My issue would be the feeling of dread more than fear.
Just remember the deepest, darkest place you’ve ever been in your life, and compare resolving that situation to how relatively easy everything else is. Helps.
I’m compelled to agree with Mr. Brooks.
Boot to the head!
Yeah, stuff scares me all the time, but let’s face it: we don’t have a choice. It decides it’s time to write it, and it is.
Angela, I agree 100%! Writing personal things are terrifying, but that’s also where the gold is. You’ve had experiences that nobody else has had, and you can mine them for truths that I’ll never be able to find. Do it! 🙂
NaNo is great fun! The first year was the hardest because I wasn’t used to the discipline of it, but it’s such an accomplishment. Even if you don’t technically “win” it, you’ll still have tried something new, gained new friendships, and upped your word count dramatically. Wins all around, as I see it! 😀
Harley: True dat!
Jamal: So you have the initial dread and then it goes away? That’s fantastic! I usually get the mid-book “Oh, wow, I must have jumped the shark somewhere!” freeze. You’re inspiring! Which four genres?
Jeremy: And then you had to come along with your helpful dose of perspective. 😉
Kate: Hear hear! When the muse says jump, I say “How far down is it to the bottom?” 😉
Well, Merc, I like to read/watch Drama, Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-Fi, so the stories that pop into my head are usually of one of those four genres.
I write in both manuscript format and screenplay format. I hash out my fantasy, horror, and sci-fi stories as manuscripts format, but for some reason, I find it easier to write my dramas in screenplay format. Eh, go figure.
Yeah, baby! Slap that muse around. I hear she likes it rough. Or is your muse a guy? Maybe he likes it rough too. Knowing your imagination, I’d guess he/she is a little bit, er, Sadie-masochistic? (That was too good not to use again.)
Also, W00T for starting new projects! And good on your writing group for telling you to shut up and write. Nano’s almost 2 months away. Think how much you can have done by then, huh?
Write on, sister.
I feel ya with ALL of this. Only, I haven’t managed the jump yet. Well, that may be a small half truth. I dipped my toe in – to two things.
It’s something. Which is better than nothing. It’s still ridiculously uncomfortable though. With all new things, that’s to be expected.
Kudos to you for the dive, it will go swimmingly!
(I am debating NaNoWriMo. Heavily debating it with myself. How about a post on all the pros and cons of it? For newbies considering it? hinthint)
New ideas rock on every level. If I was near you to help kick fear in the face…I would. I hate fear. Take him down.
Of course you can write this book…departure or not. You are one hell of a strong woman (and writer) — don’t forget that.
WRITE like the wind…
Simon: My muse could beat up your muse any day of the week. Then she’d unfold her wings and fly ephemerally away.
And Sadie-masochist still makes me laugh!
Crystal: Good for you! Dipping a toe in is FANTASTIC! And ooh, a NaNo pros/cons post…I’ll definitely do it! I just realized this is my 5th NaNo and I have a lot to say on the subject 🙂
Kate, I feel that you and I could make the universe WHIMPER IN FEAR if we ganged up on it Thank you so much for the support! 😀
Every book scares me. It helps to concentrate on how much I would like to bone the men in them.
every project scares me. I’m revising my novel and it really scares the hell out of me.
Yes! Kick that WIP in the face ;o) Absolutely, anytime I start writing something new it scares the crap outta me. I’m going to be doing a YA sci-fi/thriller for NaNo. I’ve never done that genre before, well the sci-fi part. I’m excited, but I’m really scared too.
Bring it on! What a great attitude you have ;o)
I’m in awe of your productivity. Truly. So very important to face the fears down, to own it and think of ways to deal with it. My current work in progress scares the bejabbers out of me simply because it matters so very much. The new idea I have also scares the crap out of me. Let me be clear – the ideas don’t frighten me, but the notion that I might execute them badly, communicate something exactly the opposite of what I want to, does. What do I do about it? I work on it then never flinch from the questions or concerns I have about it while I edit.
Good luck and keep rocking on with your bad self!