We are talking about the same problems all the time. I have typed imposter syndrome so many times that it comes up in my text and autocorrect. You can get over 23 million results in a split second. To get the fiction writing done before you start your day, you need the exercises to fine tune your writing voice, the productivity hacks to beat Procrastination, and the tons of ideas to come up with.
The list of the above comes up on a daily basis, but they are not as important as they could be. It is easy to ignore a splinter in your thumb when you are trying to put out a fire, but you need to deal with it eventually because it can get nasty very quickly. We forget about some of the lesser known issues that can stop us from thriving when we solve the most significant problems in our writing lives.
The finished-project depression is over. There are a few problems that I find under-tackled and how to manage them.
After you submit your draft, what do you do? You’re not occupied. You have no idea what to do with your ideas that are missing. You were looking forward to the moment when it was done, but then it hit you that if I can’t duplicate it again, what will I do? If I never do anything good again, what would I do? What if it happened?
When you are working on a project for a long time, it seems like you would never get depressed if you didn’t have a finished product. It happens. If you work on something for a long time and it becomes a part of your routine, a part of your life, or if it is an extremely vulnerable piece that takes up a huge emotional space in your days, it’s especially important.
I always write about the same things. This is a great time to replenish your batteries. pat yourself on the back If your own validation feels insufficient, brag about what you have achieved and collect all the praise you can get. Decide on the time and stick to your decision while taking a break from writing. Give yourself 24 hours, a week or a month, without guilt. Take a break from the words and do something else. If your writing became more than a hobby, then you need a new hobby, right? Spend time with it if you look for one. During the creation process, you ignored your friends and family. Exercise and relax. You should get it. Don’t allow your slave-master to push you onto another project before you have time to rest.
It is all okay. You have an audience who reads you because they are interested in your topic, they like your stories and characters, and they like your writing voice. No one is critical with you as you are with yourself. If you want to give yourself a bit of peace of mind, you can experiment and broaden your interests. Turn it around by exaggerating.
There is a whole list of recurring themes and characters in your last articles, last drafts and all the time. You keep repeating yourself. It is cute, but then you start wondering if others notice it. You are a fraud. You might be good at writing about yoga, but nothing else works. You can create a great male character, but he appears in each and every draft you write, because his eye colour is blue not brown. They will find it out when you duck. You would like to be found.
If you find yourself writing the same character all the time, exaggerate one trait of him, and watch how that changes his position in your plot. Take your hero and turn him into a villain. You wouldn’t recognize the character anymore at the end of the process.
If you write in the same niche, you can find a different topic that is important to the same audience. Talk to them and learn about them. They are interested in more than one thing.
I’m not talking about plagiarism, but the time when you have the most brilliant book idea and the most exceptional approach to an essay, and it’s already been written! Someone had the same idea as you did. Someone took my idea-dammit rage.
According to a formula that I created based on my years of evaluating advertising ideas, the best ideas can be described by three variables: originality of the idea, novelty of the approach and uniqueness of the execution You can read about it in this place. There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to ideas. If someone has the same idea as you, maybe you need to take up your idea process a bit more, and kill the ones that are obvious at once. You can assure yourself that you aren’t spending time with something that might happen to other writers by doing this. It doesn’t mean that your approach or execution needs to be the same because the idea is the same.
There are too many anxiety ideas. You can either check your process or work on your novel approach and execution.
Discipline is needed to get through this anxiety. Pick a topic and work on it is the only thing that can be done. Throw it away if it doesn’t work out. If it isn’t yours, file it in a different folder and revisit it later in life.
We are talking about writer’s block a lot. It is very common to star at the empty page and not be able to start. When you need to face the opposite, what happens? When you don’t get to do anything because you’re working on too many things at the same time? When one idea leads to another and your draft folder is full of half sentences, one-paragraph wonders and never finished pieces, what’s the point?
You sit down at the keyboard and write one word at a time. It is easy and hard. Neil Gaiman gave this advice.
We all have topics we are comfortable with. It is a calculated risk, but we are comfortable with the fact that it is a difficult topic. It still feels like it’s your choice. Sometimes you wander outside of your comfort zone. You might meet someone who will inspire you to try out a different form, or to venture into a very personal vulnerable confession, to introduce an unusual item to your routine. I want my comfort zone back.
It is possible that it is not the right time to leave your comfort zone if it makes you more anxious than you want to be. It can make you uncomfortable and unbalance you. This is not what you have signed up for.
You can try to conquer it if you can feel that this is exciting and good, and that it is only slightly bigger than you thought. Go for it, attack it with what you have, experiment and go all-in. This is not a fight, you don’t have enemies here, the only one you can conquer is yourself. You do not need to prove anything to anyone.
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