I am a preparer. I prepare for everything. I’m that person who packs way too much because I NEED this and that just IN CASE x, y, and/or z happen. This need to prepare overflows into all aspects of my life. For the most part, I think it’s a great quality to have. You make fun, but who’s laughing when I’m prepared for a natural disaster when we only meant to hang out at the park for a couple of hours?
Naturally, I feel like it’s necessary to prepare myself, characters, and overall story before embarking on writing another novel.
I finished writing my first about a year or so ago. Since then I did multiple editing sessions and at the beginning of the year, I sent my first born off to agents. After I did this, I boldly proclaimed on Instagram (which means you KNOW it’s for real):
Wrote my first book and sent it off to agents.
What do I do next?
Total mic drop moment, right?! It might have been…if I hadn’t been all talk. See, I didn’t mean to not follow through. I had great intentions. I planned on…well…planning.
Some insight into my process…
Before I get to the actual writing, I create a playlist of music that could be the soundtrack for my story. I start spending time with the characters, getting to know them. Next, I put plot points on index cards so that I can see where my story is going.
After I declared that I was going to write another book, I carried these note cards around with me. I had quite a few already done but I hung onto the possibility of more. I hung on to the need to plan it all out before I put pen to paper.
It has been 5 months since my declaration and I haven’t written a single word. I haven’t added more than a couple of note cards to my healthy stack waiting to be developed further.
I’m stuck on needing to plan.
I’ve realized that I have a fear of not being prepared. What if I’m not ready for all the unknowns? How will I ever succeed? How will I ever make it?
There’s nothing wrong with preparing and planning. There is something wrong with overdoing it as a result of being scared of the prospect of doing something new.
What if this book is harder to write than the last one? What if I don’t have it in me? What if it sucks?
It might be harder to write. I may not have the stamina. It may not be any good. Do any of these negative possibilities mean I shouldn’t try? No.
We can’t prepare for every bad outcome. At some point we have to throw our hands up, TRUST, and just get it done.
I’m going to let go of the notecards, my safety blanket, and start bringing them to life.
What’s the worst that could happen?