Overthinking Your Writing

 

More than once I’ve heard writers complain about how some really crappy books become bestsellers, and how these writers can’t understand why such horribly written novels get published, while their books don’t.

Most times – I’d say about 99% of the time – who gets published and who doesn’t has more to do with timing and luck than anything else. Of the other 1%, over half of those who get published have connections in the writing world that helped them.

359612723_65e3f5cb93_zHowever, writers tend to have two modes:

  1. What I’ve written is fantastic. I can’t believe I wrote that!
  2. This is horrendous. My writing should be burned.

These modes can make completing a piece of work difficult. Often the negative thoughts, where writers think their work is complete garbage, creep up during the middle of a story. The first 30,000 words are written, and then, suddenly, all that effort seems like a waste. The temptation to go back and revise is almost too strong to ignore.

Ignore it!

No incomplete book will get published, no matter how perfect the part that’s written is.

In those moments of despair, when your writing may seem like the worst writing in the world, don’t give in to the part of you that wants to stop writing and go back, because it’s better to get through the entire story first, then never reach that final page.

You’ll have plenty of time to go back and revise later, and you might find that what you thought was awful is actually pretty good.

A term used to describe the first draft of a piece of writing is called madman. Madman is that emotional, charged phase where you write without stopping. The madman doesn’t care if the writing is perfect, because he wants to reach the end.

It’s the final stage of writing – the judge – that is the analytical, unemotional phase, where every little mistake must be corrected.

Getting published is often a long, arduous process, where many complete, well-written, and entertaining books go unnoticed. Don’t cripple yourself by not completing your work.

Are you an over thinker?

(Photo courtesy of Fabio Venni.)

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