How to keep your passion for your story

by Nicole

Question: I've always wanted to write a book. I've experimented for years, often times knowing an idea was just for practice. But now I think I've finally found an idea that is truly special to me. I know it will take a long time to perfect it because I still have a lot to learn not only about the mechanics of writing but also expressing myself with words. This idea is stuck in my head, and when I happened across this website I had a lot of hope I could make this story happen. However, with every idea with me there comes times not really of writer's block, but failing to truly believe in my own story. It can feel like it simply isn't real enough for me. I'll have moments where I know it can most definitely lead to something amazing, but then it feels like in the same day that the story isn't nearly what I was hoping for.

I know it feels like this is a question that doesn't need answering because there are an array of articles on this website that can probably answer it, but how can I stay in love with my own story? I know no author as ever felt confident in the entire process, but I don't want this idea to turn into another practice piece. I've drawn inspirations from my favorite books and movies that I've fallen in love with, but I feel like half the time my own creation doesn't live up to that admiration for another's work. Do you have any tips?

Answer: We have two faculties within us. You can call them our open mind and our closed mind, or our creative mind and our critical mind. Both are important. But they don't work well together. The critical mind can shut down the creative. The creative mind can overwhelm the critical.

So you have to be creative and open sometimes, critical and closed at other times.

During the times when you are excited and brimming with ideas, that's your time to be open and creative. Write down your ideas. Write as much as you can. Don't judge it.

Then take a break.

Later, you can have a critical session in which you spot all the shortcomings of your writing. Take note of all the things you'd like to improve. Underline them. Make a list.

Then take another break. Let your subconscious mull over the concerns.

In your next creative time, you may find the answers to some of the concerns are right there. Others you can brainstorm to find. Always ask yourself look for ways to make your story more awesome.

You may want to avoid your critical mind until you've finished a draft. Just tell yourself that the time to fix any problems is later.

When you're being critical (e.g. when preparing for revision), remind yourself that your creative mind can find solutions to all the problems later (just not now).

Keep separating and alternating between these two modes.

As your story improves over several drafts, your confidence in it and your enthusiasm will grow.

Your aim is to make your book the best it can be, to match the level of your taste (your ability to appreciate the work and/or spot its flaws). When your critical mind can no longer find anything wrong with it, and your creative mind is totally in love with it, you're there.

Best of luck

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