When I first started writing, I remember being incredibly stressed because I couldn’t quite figure out some new plot twist or clever direction for my story. I would lay awake at night, tossing and turning, trying to figure out what came next.
What a waste of time that was! All that time spent worrying did me no good, as I was so focused on the fear of “What happens if I don’t figure this out?” that I had no brain power left to focus on actually figuring things out.
Now, I don’t worry AT ALL. I don’t have to struggle to figure out plot twists, story lines, or characters. I don’t have to wonder how I’m going to keep the reader interested. Instead of worrying about it, I’ve learned to trust.
You see, as I’m writing a story, my mind is already churning out what comes next. Subconsciously, I’m chipping away at the block of marble, trying to find that story. I’m figuring out a book or two in advance, or at least a few chapters in advance. Every time I come up with something, I write it down. The more I write down, the easier it is to work within the structure of what I have created. I don’t have to figure out enormous chunks of book, but I can break it down to figuring out one problem at a time.
I participated in a Writers Bootcamp from March to September 2015, with the goal of taking a book from inception to completion in just six months. When I started the bootcamp, I had no idea what I was going to write, but I didn’t let that bother me. I focused on the work I was doing (writing The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen).
As the start date approached, I didn’t sweat it. Instead, I just let my mind wander. I took more walks, spent more time sitting and doing nothing, and let my subconscious mind interact with my conscious. Within just one week (yes, 7 days), I had the story, plot, and structure of the 100,000-word book. Sure, I developed more as I was writing, but I never let it worry me. I used my energy to figure out the problem, not worry about it.
Let that be a lesson to us all! The more time and brain power you spend worrying about stuff, the less energy you’ll have to focus on what really matters: finding the solution! Worry less, and you’ll get a lot more done.
I’ve never had to struggle to figure out a plot twist or something. My mind is always working on it, even subconsciously. Worrying won’t help me figure it out.