For well over a year (as I write this, May 2015), I’ve been practicing pushing down my conscious, critical mind and the fear it brings to the table. Yet this morning as I was going through my morning wake-up ritual, fear flooded over me.
This morning it’s back to the writing.
I have at least one more prequel to write (it will be book 3 in the Wes Crowley series) and I’ve already started the first sequel (The Marshal of Agua Perlado).
I also have to write the short story of the week sometime in the next few days or break the streak I’ve had going since April 15 of last year.
So no lack of writing opportunities. No lack of ideas.
But I was overwhelmed. What I’m I gonna write first?
Well, I can’t write all of them at once, so I have to pick one.
I can hammer out a good short story in only a few hours. But I want to get the siphon going on a novel again, so I need to write one of those.
And that’s when the fear hit, in the form of feeling overwhelmed.
Despite the fact that my next novel will be my sixth, and despite the fact that all of those have come since October 25, 2014, a sense of feeling overwhelmed washed over me.
What am I thinking? I can’t write a novel! It’s too much! It’s too big! It’s too many words!
Know what? That’s true. I can’t write a novel.
But I can write a sentence.
I can write a great line of dialogue or descriptive narrative to pull my reader into the story. I can write another sentence, and another. I can write a scene.
There’s an old saying: How do you eat an elephant? The answer? One bite at a time.
I can’t write a novel, but I can write a scene.
I can’t write 40,000 or 50,000 or 60,000 words, but I can write 1,000 words per hour. I can write three or four hours per day.
And I can tell a story.
Some stories are short and are accomplished in only a few thousand words. And some stories keep going until you look up 30 days later and you’ve written a story of several tens of thousands of words. That story would be a novel.
And I know it can happen because it already has.
In the overall story of Wes Crowley and friends, in five novels, I’ve written 225,252 published words of fiction.
How? By not allowing myself to feel overwhelmed. By pushing down my conscious, critical mind and the overwhelming feeling that I can’t possibly write a novel. I just recognize and admit that I can’t.
I write the next sentence. Then I write the next sentence. Then I write the next sentence.