Hello Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
It’s Writer Wednesday, the day I talk about what I’m writing and hopefully inspire you to keep going with whatever you’re writing.
I have been having a problem with my writing recently. If you’re a regular viewer of my other YouTube channel VlogaNovel, or if you tune in to the live stream over on Twitch, you will have noticed that I haven’t been quite as productive as normal.
Well, this week I had my regular Monday phone call with Sean Platt, my writing partner, and I believe I may have had a breakthrough that I think might be worth sharing with you.
The big problem I’ve had recently is a lack of intense desire to sit down and work on the book I’m writing. Which is very weird for me. It felt like I was experiencing the dreaded Writer’s Block.
But I’ve never had Writer’s Block before, and to be honest, I kind of don’t believe in it. Not trying to negate what you might be going through as a writer, but it’s just like…I can always put words down, you know?
Anyway, in talking with Sean, I think I figured out what the deal is: the book I am writing isn’t good enough—or at least, it wasn’t good enough.
And in that context, it becomes a lot easier to understand why I’ve been having such an issue. I mean, I really like my own books, okay?
That might sound blasphemous to you, especially if you’re one of those writers plagued with doubts and insecurities. Which we all are, to an extent.
But to write a book and actually put it out there for people to read, you need to have some amount of ego telling you it’s worth their time.
And if I didn’t like the book I was working on, of course I would be reticent to sit down and start working on it every day.
I don’t want to have this book be the one people always look back on and go, “Good series, except for that one. Boy, I don’t know what was happening there.”
And the reason it wasn’t good enough is because I violated my own best practices that I’ve established for myself over a writing career that’s now more than three years old.
I write very, very detailed outlines. Not everyone has to outline, but I do. And my own benchmark for when my outline is done is that I am really, really excited to sit down and start writing the book.
Well, obviously that never happened, because I wasn’t excited to work on it, and until recently, I still wasn’t.
Now, there are some structural problems in the story itself that are also holding me back from being excited. But that’s the sort of thing I generally take care of in the outlining process.
Talking about it now, it seems really obvious. But I had to talk with Sean before I realized what was going on.
So the lesson to take away here is this: the more you write, the better you get at it. The faster you’ll generally get at it, and the easier it becomes to say what you’re trying to say in your writing.
But endless work isn’t the be-all-end-all. Slugging away at it forever won’t help you if you don’t note down what works and what doesn’t work, and do the things that DO work, and stop the things that DON’T work.
So you shouldn’t take away from this that you have to outline your book until you’re excited about it in order to overcome writer’s block. That works for me, and it MAY work for you, but it may not.
But as you keep going, track your own production, and the habits that you surround that production with, and see what tips and tricks work for YOU, and make sure you keep doing them.
And if you do stall, or bog down, or you just can’t get your butt in the chair to put the words on the page, look at what you’re doing and how it’s different from what you were doing before, when you were productive, and when you were getting your writing done consistently.
It’s going to be different for every person. The only one you should try and be consistent with is yourself.
That’s it for today, Rebels. A special shoutout to my supporters on Patreon, who make the YouTube channel possible. If you want to be one of those excellent people, or to get signed copies of my books, there are links in the description to both of those things.
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.