I am following an online friend as she starts fiction writing — Tiffany Lambert . Like many of the new authors I interact with, she is running into some common problems.
Having taught a couple of different kinds of design thru the years, I know that these bumps in the road happen with any type of creativity. The folks who push thru will survive, the ones who can’t/won’t will be the ones with unfulfilled dreams…
I try to use my fear/procrastination/reluctance to identify my progress along my fiction path…
As you travel on your fiction writing journey, these fears and their BFF — procrastination, will appear…. repeatedly. In many cases, it simply means that you are reaching a new breakthrough in your writing process or that your subconscious is seeing a problem or Plot Hole.
If possible, your best bet is to make them work FOR you not AGAINST you.
I spent my early AM walk today alternating between trying to figure out how the heroine escapes from the bad guys (Plot Hole) and bolstering my confidence — reminding myself that the next books ready to go are worthy of publishing… (writing process).
In fiction, as in any creative endeavor, ongoing improvement is an important component, but with it comes the fear that can accompany each breakthrough.
I like to focus on the fact that I have nowhere to go but up.
I am also trying to focus and avoid BSOs — Bright Shiny Objects, as much as possible.
Because this is a business, albeit a creative one, I am also identifying what I want to accomplish each time… In my first series, I just wanted to go all the way through the process of creating, writing, and pubbing. I succeeded and ended up publishing 5 books — three short stories of various lengths, a short novel and a longer 77K novel.
With my current series, my focus has been on improving presentation — an easy one — I hired a cover designer LOL, the planning process — in this case refining my plotting process using Scrivener and my own Plot Templates (I am having varying degrees of success, but it IS a learning process), and the writing process — improving my writing speed and how I handle drafts.
I look on this as the fiction writer’s version of practicing scales on the piano… once you have the skills down, the action becomes transparent/unconscious — a matter of muscle memory and eye hand coordination and all of my energy can be applied to the creative process — creating the ideas and stories.
The single and most important element in any successful fiction writing career is simple — BIC (Butt in Chair). Without multiple books aimed at the same group of readers, success will not be likely… and the ONLY way to create the necessary books is to write them — this means FINISHING them and PUBLISHING them…
Now… get BIC!