How to keep writing even when flooded of uncertainty
When we start writing our novels and our poems we have this grand idea. It starts in our head. Then we find different ways to get it out on paper whether writing outlines or going right in and developing the piece as we go. The process of getting from the depths of our mind onto paper is not always a walk in the park. In some divine moments stories pour out of us, those are not the times I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the stories where we have it at the tip of our tongue. Those moments that come and it seems like you can’t see which way to go next. That is exactly when uncertainty floods us with doubt. It’s not a good feeling, but great news, I’m here to help!
Let’s talk about uncertainty.
When we feel like we have no idea what’s coming in life and in writing, the first thing that hits us like a load of bricks is fear. It’s fear from loss of control. It’s fear from failure. It’s fear from looking stupid. Uncertainty floods us with all sorts of feelings, but that’s just it, they are just feelings. So when you feel uncertainty hit you like a load of bricks, it feels like the best option is to doubt success. Especially because you’re so uncertain, you don’t even know what success would look like.
Ok we’re flooded, now what?
Now you acknowledge those feelings. You take the time to accept that you have no control and you are now in unknown territory. These feelings are ok. These thoughts and feelings put us on guard and keep us safe. So let them come.
Now let’s go back to the beginning
We’re talking about writing and the uncertainty that comes with it. We’re talking about your story. So let’s think about this some more. Your story is in your hands. It’s in your complete control. So now with that shift in mindset, which isn’t always simple, we’ve gained the control we had when we started. The control that says, this is your story and you can do with it what you may.
So what next?
Think of those times when you were a child and you were most amazed by something. Whether it was an ant carrying a leaf ten times its size. Or whether it was a scene in a movie that lit your fire so much you couldn’t believe your eyes. Allow that wonder to carry you along. Surprise yourself with all the options you have to create something spectacular. And then let that magic flow into the uncertainty like a candle on the water.
The only way you fail in writing, is not writing at all. An book that sells 30 copies or 2 copies is not a failed book. No matter what the world tells you, your art is monumental. Sometimes it takes tweaking in the story, sometimes it’s marketing but always the final product is about acknowledging you and the hard work you’ve done to get where you are.