Book Two: the doubt speaks up

Book Two is in the works.

However, the works are a little jammed up. 

The process of writing book one had such a nice rhythm to it, or at least so it appears in rosy hindsight. I often felt like I knew what needed doing next to inch it closer to what I had in mind.

Now that I’ve paused working on that one for the moment, I’m trying to get moving on a very different idea to keep myself writing. But choosing which of my ideas to get started on was a little hairy, and now that I chose one and got partway down the path of planning it, the doubt gremlin (N.B.: a close cousin of the fear gremlin) is noisy.

“It’s a dumb idea,” says the gremlin. Thanks, I grimace.

“No one would be interested in that concept except you, and you’re only barely interested.” Yes, thank you for that contribution.

“Even if anyone likes your current draft, they would hate this one.” Let’s leave that up to them to decide, shall we?

“You’re not even spending any time working on it.” That’s an exaggeration. I’m just spending almost no time working on it, which is different. 

“Why don’t you get started on the better ideas?” Well, obviously because those ones will take a lot more research and work, and I’m tremendously impatient and a little sleepy, I admit.

“Those don’t seem like great reasons to commit to this idea,” says the gremlin, looking taken aback, and I have to agree.

But here’s the thing: the doubt only matters if I’m attaching some great weight to doing this. If I need my two-weeks-to-several-decades of work to be of maximum efficiency, resulting in the written product that will create the most good for the most people in the shortest amount of time, then I’m doing it very wrong. 

That’s okay, because that isn’t really what I’m trying to do. I’m just trying to stretch the muscles and follow the curiosity. I’m trying to make myself laugh sometimes, and make myself feel stuff other times, and those stakes are a lot lower. The payoff is pretty high, too, because being able to make yourself laugh while you get better at something is pretty rewarding. 

Anyway, on with it–whatever it is. 

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2 thoughts on “Book Two: the doubt speaks up

  1. Pingback: Update: writing is hard. | PsychoPomp

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