You may or may not know this about me, but I’m a huge perfectionist. I hate it when things aren’t just so. It’s both a blessing and a curse, in a way. I’d say I’m a very good judge of quality, but with my own things…I’m my worst critic.
Which brings me to this post. It is entirely possible that I will have at least a billion story ideas in my lifetime. (No joke, guys. XD ) And I’m just so excited about all of them, and they’re all just begging to be written and I want to just write them ALL. O_O
Because I’m also a procrastinator. (Ah, the INFJ, the paradox.)
So far, I’ve written approximately three novels. It took me a while, but I did. But while I was writing them, I was constantly thinking about the other ideas in my head. And I became overwhelmed. How was I ever going to make all of these ideas into books? There isn’t enough time in the day, especially being a procrastinator! I tried to calm myself by telling myself that I could write all of them, if I tried really hard and stuck to it.
But that wasn’t the problem, I realized.
I could maybe write all of them, but would they be perfect, just the way I pictured them in my head? Could my vision be accurately portrayed on paper?
And then I became overwhelmed again.
So, since I feel like this is a huge problem I have, I set out to fix it. And this is what I came up with.
1. You have to be a little…crazy.
I mean…you’re a writer. That’s basically like slapping a huge sticker on your forehead that says ‘I’m a psycho’, am I right? XD Okay, so maybe not that bad. But every genius is always at least a little bit…cuckoo. 😛
2. Do what you want WHILE you want to do it.
This was a super huge problem that I didn’t realize until too late.
I had laid out all of my ideas, written them in a list, nice and orderly, and showed it to my parents. And I don’t know why, I don’t know how this made sense in my head, but this was my game plan.
“I’m going to write them in this order.”
Yeah…no. That was a big mistake. At the time, I had wanted to write my superhero trilogy, The D. But that’s not what I wrote. I started the Imprint trilogy. (Don’t get me wrong, Imprint totally awesome, it’s my first child, and I will forever love it to pieces.) But it wasn’t what I wanted to write at the time.
And that made things reeeeally hard.
Yeah, so I wouldn’t recommend doing that. Write what you want, when you want. Don’t make a list and think in your head that this is the order I’m writing it in, and I have to do that. That’s stupid and the opposite of what you should do.
3. Accept that your novel(s) will never, ever be perfect.
I’m still trying to accept this. It will never, ever, ever be perfect.
But I want it to be. So, so badly.
I think of it like this: books are like geodes. Geodes may look super clean and polished and maybe even kinda pretty on the outside. But it’s when you break them, when they become flawed, that they are truly beautiful.
Book are the same way. You can polish your manuscript a million times, but there will always be something you can change. And that’s okay. That’s what readers want. Imperfections are what makes a book unique and enjoyable. Nobody wants a boring, polished book. They want the stuff inside, the stuff that really matters.
Okay, whoa, that totally just got really deep. XD
4. Don’t be afraid to take a break.
This is important to remember as a writer. When things seem super overwhelming and it feels like your just falling behind, can’t keep up, feeling like you’ll never make it, step away.
Read a book. Listen to music. Take a walk. Bake something yummy. Aside from writing, I really love music and playing the piano. So when I’m feeling tense, I step away and just play music for a bit. It could be a few hours, a few days, even a few weeks. I’ve had it where I stopped writing for nearly a year. And it was okay. I came back feeling refreshed and excited at all the prospects ahead of me.
So take a break, fellow perfectionist writer with a billion ideas. You deserve it. 😉
So there’s my two cents. Tell me if you struggle with this same thing or if I’m the only one down in the comments below. And always remember: Better billions of ideas rather than none! 😛