Getting started with a new book

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When you get started on a new book, it’s like playing with the Hogwarts sorting hat. I’m a big fan of the idea of starting out with an outline. That outline provides the blueprint that carries you forward as you write the book. I have a friend who is working away on book contract for a book that is due June. She writes four hours every day, churning out her pages. I envy her the freedom to do all that writing but I would find this very intimidating. You can force yourself to do something physically within certain bounds. I am pretty sure that I’ll be able to run a marathon in February with only five or six weeks training; however when I am doing Pilates, there are certain things I simply cannot make my body do.
I’ll get there though.

But forcing your creative mind to work at a certain speed is quite another thing. Making yourself run or climb, swim or bike is a matter of training, but making yourself think, write, create, is quite different. It’s time to write a book, create a painting, it’s time to make love, ready or not. That’s a different story.

Writers are always asking me about this. If I sit down to write, and I don’t have anything to say, what then? If I’m feeling weak, sick, bored, if my head is in a blur, what if I simply can’t write? My friend is having that experience right now, she is sitting down and calling forth her creative and intellectual powers, just saying to herself, it’s time to write. That isn’t easy.

So I both envy her and I don’t. She has a huge challenge and she has the exuberating experience of getting to feel her mind working at its hardest. The story calls to you when you’re a writer, but you’re monkey mind always wants you to do anything but write.

An outline helps, you have a guide which gives you a sense of the next thing you have to do. We all need a road map, otherwise we get lost in the woods.

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Published in: on January 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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