Happy Tuesday from snowy Indiana! Sorry it’s been a bit quiet around here lately, but I’ve been buried in rewrites and edits for book two in my Heroes series. And while the plot has been solidified, the tension ratcheted up, and motivations strengthened, I’m struggling to put my stamp of approval on this one. Not because I don’t love the story–trust me, I do!–but still there’s something holding me back.
Something that held me back for a time on Armed With Steele, too. It’s called perfectionism, a common character flaw for us first-borns.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy cure for this pesky ailment. Though if there’s anything I have learned in writing this book, as opposed to the other three I have simmering right now, it’s that for me, I can’t force the characters forward in a story. I’ve done NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) before, twice, actually, and know I’m capable of pounding out 50K words in a month. But what the contest doesn’t allow, for me, is time to let the story come to life on its own terms. And it’s in those moments when I feel the most confident about my writing.
I think this is probably true for many of us, writers or no. Moments of clarity that strike out of the blue, helping us realize an action or decision that needs to be made. Which fork in the road to take. When to say we’re sorry. How to show our kids how proud we are of them.
So often we want to force our outcomes, hurry up and decide already. Sometimes, those hurried decisions come back to haunt us. But so many of the decisions in our life require, perhaps even deserve, a little more consideration. And a little more time.
In this stretch of my writing journey, I’m learning to sit back and take pause. To breathe in, breathe out…and to wait. Because when the idea I’ve been looking for finally comes to mind–and so far, my muse has yet to let me down–it’ll be all I could hope for and more. And you simply can’t perfect inspiration–that comes all on its own.
So here’s to finding patience, embracing the quiet, and letting answers come in their own, sweet time. Have a great week, everyone.