Second guessing ourselves is natural in the creative spirits, but second guessing also delays our own creative processes by introducing unnecessary insecurity and self turmoil. Learning to let go and just accept the process is key.
Currently, I am 13 chapters into the first draft of my first novel, and it’s a humbling experience to say the least. When I first began on this creative passion project, I thought that getting the first draft was going to be so easy after nailing down the “details” in my outline, but when I began actually fleshing out the world I was building, I realized that there was so much more that I had not accounted for. This, naturally, meant more time was necessary to complete this draft, which made me very insecure and frustrated with myself. I had to let go of those initial expectations when I saw that they were unrealistic.
“Just get the words on the page” at first sounds placating, like yes, thank you, never thought of that before. Often when I heard this advice on YouTube I would snub my nose at it, thinking if it was so easy to just put the words on paper and write out a good story, wouldn’t all books be great then? What I hadn’t taken into consideration was the polishing and improvement that comes with each round of revision and edits. I naively believed that I could get a best selling book on the first attempt, which is obviously not how best sellers are created.
Getting the words on the page is letting caution fly in the wind, it’s letting go of high expectations and coming to terms with what your skill is at the time of writing. It’s realizing that even if you delete everything that you’ve written in two hours, you still spent two hours honing your craft and practicing how to write better. It’s finding peace in the process.
So I encourage you as a writer to write down the words even if they feel like the most juvenile and underwhelming writing you’ve ever mustered out of yourself. Often times it’s not that bad when read later, and even if it is you can revise or remove it.