If your browser supports Refresh, you'll be transported to our new home in 5 seconds, otherwise, select the link manually. Thank you

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Why I'm Happy That I'm Not Finishing My Novel

Everyone's got NaNo on the brain - everyone except me, that is. For about four years, I've had a novel outline languishing in a corner of my desk. It has stared at me reproachfully as I have done other jobs and written other things. I've felt guilty because I feel I haven't stuck to it - or even got started properly, but yet every time I sat down to write it, my brain froze and I couldn't manage more than a few desultory sentences. As you can guess, that has done nothing for my self image, especially since I am a prolific freelance writer and ghostwriter.

So it was because of this that I decided to attend one of the Inspired Author Friday night online workshops. The reason was that writing coach Lori Chance was going to be there, and I figured it would be a great opportunity to finally kickstart that novel writing.

It was an interesting session, in which I got very public therapy for my novel writing malaise. Lori was great, talking me through all the reasons why I might not be getting started with the novel (time pressure, fear of failure, perfectionism) and the qualities I had used in the past to successfully step out of my comfort zone (focus). We talked about ways of getting support with novel writing (courses, critique groups and so on). But the upshot was not what you might think.

At the end of the session I felt exhilarated and liberated because with Lori's help I had finally given myself permission to let that novel go, at least for now, and to concentrate on writing one of my other ideas instead. I have now put some regular writing time in the diary (only once a week, but once I get obsessed, as I will, I'm sure it will be more often) and a friend has offered to set me up with her writing group.

So I want to say a public thank you to Lori. I also want to let you know that you can benefit from her experience for free. Lori's got a site at DestinationWords and a free writing life coaching group on Myspace. Browse around Lori's profile and you'll find a lot of useful and interesting stuff - and some of it can be applied to anyone, not just writers.

No comments: