Anyone who knows me knows that it’s my dream and ultimate ambition is to become a published author. I’d love to live out the rest of my days as a weird writer, living in the woods, scribbling away by candlelight with my cats.
Maybe not that in particular, but I really want to become a published author. You get the picture.
I feel that I’m getting closer to this goal. Not in the way that I have a full completed manuscript that I’m querying to agents and publishing houses. In the way that I have different expectations, more knowledge of the industry, and new experiences in the writing community.
The current state of things
Two years ago, I attended Unislam, a competition for students poets. I’ve had poems published, and one of my short stories is set to be published, in print, very soon! (I am really proud of this story and honestly so excited to see it!)
But back to the matter at hand: having a novel published.
I’ve written complete first drafts previously. I’ve written several thousand tens of words for writing challenges like Nanowrimo. But I haven’t really gotten much further.
I think my issue is that I get in my own head when it comes to my stories. I can see these books on shelves in my head when I first work on them. Then I spend weeks or months with the idea, developing and writing. I end up seeing all these plot holes, and it’s too unrealistic, and who would want to read this? So, I end up overthinking and overwhelming myself, which leads to my trunking novels.
I have taken me this long, but I have finally come to realise that my biggest obstacle in becoming a published career author is my own silly insecure brain.
So, what am I now attempting to keep myself productive and writing, even when I feel that I’m losing faith in my work?
I’m writing four different things at once.
Four different novels, four different vibes, four different things to turn to whenever I feel a bit fed up with one of them. If I’m ever stuck, I can jump around and still write as much as I can, I’ll just be doing something different.
Part of me thought that this might end up in me reaching forever to reach my goal, as I put 25% of my energy into four things instead of 100% of it into just one.
However, I know now what I’m like: if I make plans to write and have no idea how to advance the thing I’m working on, then at best I’ll write very little. At worse, I could overthink, second guess myself, and maybe even give up.
It might take a little longer to get to my minimum word goal for a certain WIP, sure. But all in I’ll be writing more. I’ll be building the habit, building the skill, and hopefully feeling better about what I’m doing.