Novel 1, Day 4: This whole time, my biggest hurdles have been my own fears

T. Cole Williams My Noveldom Quest, Novel 1 Leave a Comment

When I started this blog two years ago, I never could’ve imagined how writing fiction novels would cause my mind to turn against itself so ravenously.

Does anyone else struggle to believe that their fiction work is worth while?

Does anyone else fear the day they must bear witness to what people have to say about the work they spent years crafting?

Does anyone else overthink every little idea because the pressure to be successful outweighs the joy of doing the work?

I’ve delayed writing this post – or catching up with this blog in any fashion, for that matter – because what I have to admit doesn’t involve any marvelous advice or miraculous breakthroughs.

Regardless, these hurdles are my reality and perhaps they’re part of yours too…

1) That I love my ideas enough to keep coming back to them despite all the failures, and

2)

HURDLE #1:
Judgment Day Fears

No one likes to be judged, especially when they’re being their most authentic self.

But realizing that I had let two years fly by without writing another novel, all from fears of whether or not my work would be well-received, was shattering. I had allowed MY ASSUMPTIONS of what people MIGHT SAY about my work stop me from doing it, and that sucked soap.

Solution:
Practice Mindfulness

It seems so obvious, and surely we’ve all heard an adage or ten that warn against it, but I hadn’t realized how often I allowed my mind to spiral into fear over various aspects of my potential future.

In order to combat this, I now repeat this mantra:

Do not let assumptions about the future stunt your present.
Are you happy with what you’re creating?
If yes, continue. If no, why not?

HURDLE #2:
Discipline

For the last twenty-four months, I’ve been free as a bird for eighteen of them, with no other obligations than to write and exercise. [SPOILER ALERT: title of this novel is “Things That Didn’t Happen Though I Insisted They Would”.]

I’ve literally no excuses for dodging discipline as much as I have, except that fear…it’s one helluva a drug.

Solution:
Comfort & Praise

I believe this to be true with any new task requiring disciplined effort, except for people who have fearless motivation.

But since I’m living in a state of fear, I’ll benefit more from making this process as easy and painless as possible.

For me, this means keeping my office organized and clean, wearing the right clothes for my day, and having access to fresh and tasty snacks, as well as complimenting and rewarding myself throughout the day for any and all successes.

HURDLE #3:
Mindset

I spent the summer months recalibrating my mindset in preparation for the end of 2019, the end of a decade, the end of an era.

This is a big ending for me, personally. In 2010, I was in a very different place in my life and I certainly wasn’t writing – or even thinking about writing –
novels.

But in the last two years specifically – since deciding to write fiction novels – I’ve been dismantling what feels like the last pieces to a very complex patriarchal puzzle.

Long story short, having the right mindset can make or break you. I’ve learned of this sorcery first hand…

Solution:
Tame That Strange

I’ve learned, after nearly two years of blowing off my goals, that staying in the present moment is crucial to success.

You can’t be successful if you’re stuck in the past, exploring the future, or avoiding it all by zoning the fuck out. You have to choose to be present and, from there, you have to choose to try.

So, what’s the game plan
FROM HERE ON OUT?

This month (October 2019), I started my first round of the #90LOVE Rising, a campaign commitment to honoring my highest self and everything she wants most for me. [If you’d like to learn more about the #90LOVE Rising Collective, go here.]

In that vein, I’m dropping all of the habits that don’t suit my current needs and implementing all the ones that do.

Preptober (October for NaNoWriMo’s) started four days ago and already I’m feeling great about my WIP.

I’ll be revisiting the manuscript I began two years ago, but I’ll be doing so from scratch. I created a new Scrivener file and everything so not even character bios transfer into this new draft!

I’ll be keeping a daily journal for NaNoWriMo, beginning November 1st, to document this year’s experience, and I’ll also be posting to this blog every Friday to keep the productivity train in motion.

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