Jump Off a Cliff

Okay, I’m going to admit it. I’ve been a bad, bad girl the past few weeks when it comes to my own writing. So today I’m going to share a little peice of advice that I really need to take and apply to my own life.

Stephen King says,

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

I’ve found that to be so true this week.  What really makes it worse for me is that I already have started.  I’ve been starting on this novel for over two years.  And I felt like I was really on a roll, too.  But then, here at around the beginning of February, I came to a standstill.  And then, a week ago, I tried to get back in and got even more stuck.  Becasue of this reason: I realized that I had been going back and forth in my novel trying to fill in gaps that I had gotten confused and was contradicting myself and spoiling my characters.  It was bad.  I decided to start my rewrite from the beginning.  Remember when I rewrote my opening sentence?  Yeah, well I wrote that and about another thousand words, and after that and since then I have been stuck.  Because the scariest moment is always just before you start. I’ve already got so much invested in this story that I’m afraid of going through it all again.  Of making it worse.  Of failing in my intentions as a writer.  Of falling flat on my face.  And I’m afraid that this time I might actually make it all the way through a draft, and then others will read it!

So here’s my advice to myself and to you: Just Start.  Because then the scariest part is over.  It can only get better from here, because after that at least you’re doing something about it.  There’s nothing worse than inaction.

It’s like jumping off a cliff.  Once you start writing, it’s too late to turn back.  You’ve already written something.  So you might as well go through with it and see what your outcome is.  This week I scrunched my eyes closed and jumped off.  Hopefully I’ll land on something soft and squishy.  Or learn how to fly before I hit the bottom. Either way, at least I’ll go down knowing I’ve written something.

Are you scared to start writing?  Why?  Or is it the starting that’s easy and the finishing that’s hard?

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One Response to Jump Off a Cliff

  1. I don’t usually have trouble starting, at least when it comes to novel-writing. In novel-writing, starting is my favorite part, second only to final draft editing. Brand spankin’ new novels are fresh, sparkly, and full of possibility.

    In fact, if I let myself, I would start a new novel every other month. That’s how often I feel the urge to start a new one. The problem is, if I let myself do that, I’d never finish anything!

    My trouble is finishing, and it always begins right around the time I approach the climax of the story. I think I get scared that I can’t wrap the story up in a way that’s satisfying. I have to force myself past that point — and then fix it all in later drafts. 😉

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