April 14, 2016
Even trapeze artists occasionally fly without a net. They risk their lives, trusting their skills and training to keep them from falling. I’ve often wondered at what point did they roll up the net and fly free without something to catch them if they miss the bar.
How good do they have to be before they trust their instincts and talents?
I’ve been learning some news things through my recent book launch and subsequent planning of another book. One is that I learned more about writing than I thought I had. All I have absorbed during the studying of the craft, the coaching, and the workshops and classes, is finally starting to show in my writing.
The foundation has been laid, and the house of prose I’m building is on pretty steady ground. But I also stand ready to add another strengthening layer to it when I can.
Sure, I will still make mistakes, and I have a way to go before I write a GREAT book. But I’m ready to take down the net.
What is my net? It’s a tightly woven fabric made of several things.
Rules of structure and method.
While plotting, structuring, and planning are good things, trying to conform too much to them only kept me constrained and a bit frustrated. I had to find a happy medium of joy riding and sticking to the map of novel writing. My nature is to write by the seat of my pants. Tempering that with some structure allows me to fly free.
Fear of never being good enough.
Repeat after me: I will get better.
I’m a work in progress and so is my writing. It’s okay to not be a best-selling author. I do the best I can, knowing I will improve with practice – just like anything else I do. What is important is that I am NOT afraid to learn something about myself in my stories and then pass that along to my readers. Then it doesn’t matter if my writing is perfect, it’s usable, and I am usable.
Self-imposed unrealistic writing schedules.
I have a busy life. Yeah, yeah, so does everyone. I’m no spring chicken (sorry for the cliche) and I have an auto-immune disease that cuts into my productivity. I have to give myself permission to be less productive than the prolific writer I really want to be like. It is what it is, and by expecting too much of myself, my creativity takes a hit.
So, while I know that I need to rely on a safety net from time to time, I am hoping to drop it often enough to discover my best voice, hone my natural talents, and feel the freedom of the breeze in my hair as I fly through the air of writing my next novel.
What is your safety net? Do you feel you’re ready to let go of it?
Like the trapeze flyer….