Over the past few months my writing has been going slowly. Hell my whole life has been going slowly but I'm used to losing myself in my imagination, escaping into my novel. I have much more fun there.
I noticed me enjoyment stopped a while ago and it started becoming painful to write. I knew I wanted to finish my second re-write, I kept showing up, sitting in front of my computer but I never seemed to accomplish much. I kept analysing my writing, editing it by going over and over the same paragraphs and pages, trying to find the perfect words, the perfect sentences.
I felt like I was choking, this big bundle of fear wrapped tight around my throat. I wasn't communicating what I wanted to say because I was too worried about what other people would think. My writing came to a screeching halt and my BIG DREAM of being a published author seemed a million miles away.
Even better I was reminded why I love to write and what works for me.
Some people like to write slowly, perfecting a sentence before their hands even touch a keyboard. I am not one of those people. In fact the faster I type, the better I write. Yes there are some dodgy sentences, whole sections I would never, ever want anyone else to read; but I'm at the draft stage, so that's okay.
I started writing by taking part in National Novel Writing Month where you have to write fast if you want to do 50,000 words in 30 days. It was baptism by fire and it was also incredibly freeing. It turns out that I need to edit, or as I prefer to call it "rewrite", my novel quickly.
I need to move forward through the draft at a faster pace than I've been going. Instead of aiming for perfection in one go I'm going to work through it knowing that once I get to the end I will be going back to the start. There will be more to remove, more to change. The approach seemed like it would be more time consuming but I've made more progress in the past two days than I have in two months.
I've realised I may not write the way others do. My process may be completely different to theirs; but you know what, that's okay. As long as it works for me then it's okay.
Where in your life are you trying to do things the exact same way "everybody" else is? How's that working for you? If it's not, if you feel like you're drowning, then it's time to come up for air and do something different.
That thing you think people will judge you for, the thing that will make people laugh, jeer or sneer, that's probably exactly what's right for you. So go do it. Ignore them, or better yet don't tell them, just get on with it, do it your way and you'll find you're having so much more fun you won't care what they say.
If you need some help realising your BIG DREAM, motivating yourself and recognising your progress then check out Celebrate & Create Achievement Art.
The Choice - imagine a world where sugar is illegal, baking is a crime and the government use diet, exercise and shame to keep people in line. Winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition, Good Housekeeping Book of the Month and The Times Audiobook of the Week. The Choice is available now as a paperback, ebook and audiobook.