Writing Fiction By Example

Learn to write fiction by reading and analyzing excerpts from published novels.

Can You Learn To Write? pt2 (Cannot Attain Perfection Doing Nothing)

Are you stuck?  Do you say you love to write, but you don't actually write? Here are some things to consider, which may help.

No one has ever become perfect by doing nothing. 


1. Have you stopped, because you don't believe in yourself?

Start with belief. If you don't believe you can achieve a task, then you'll never even begin the first steps of the task. For example, I don't really believe I can paint a beautiful painting, so I do not even attempt it.

However, there is no way to ever know if you are good without actually doing the thing. If I never gather the materials and make an attempt at painting, it is obvious I'll never succeed as an artist.

If I don't believe I'll never take the actual steps.
Do you believe in your writing? Is there anything there that is good enough to begin to believe in? I'm sure there is. Even if there is not much, then you can begin to grow by doing a few exercises each day.

2. Have you stopped because you no longer believe in your project?

Is your project boring you?

Did you think you liked the project and now you've lost interest?
That can happen for two reasons:
i.) It's not a subject your heart finds interesting. You thought it was great, but now you really don't like the story or the subject. It happens.
If that is the case then make a decision. Either leave the story behind or write the story and fin

ii.) Now that you've researched it more the subject / angle wasn't really strong enough to follow.
If this is true, drop the project and start the next one on your list. Move forward. Allow yourself to drop the dead weight and move on.

There is another reason you may have stopped writing.

3. You're afraid to finish because if you do, it will be obvious that you are not a great writer.
I think most beginning writers fear this. What if you spend a year on a novel and then it is trash? What if no one likes your story? If you finish and learn that you are no good, then it'll be obvious you are not a writer. If you learn you are not a writer, then your dreams will be gone. So by not writing, you believe you are protecting your dream.

Change The Point Of Your Writing
If you're going through this, you need to change the point of your writing. Reframe your work.
Instead of thinking, "I must complete my novel so that I am discovered this year",

decide that your point is, "To mentor myself in writing."

The only way to learn is: write. So, write the novel. Give yourself permission to write terribly. Then, go back and read it again.

If you can't read your novel a few times, then no on else is going to want to read it even once. It's your baby.

Anyway, go back and rip the writing apart as if someone else wrote it, then change it.

Examine Yourself: Learn About Yourself
Learn from the good parts. Examine yourself when you wrote poorly. How did you feel about yourself and your story. Examine how you felt, what the conditions were when you wrote brilliantly. This redirects your focus and gets you out of evil critique mode. Give yourself the compassion you would give someone else.

Do a little at a time and you'll begin to see success. Grab on to those successes and encourage yourself. Now, it's not about being perfect. It's about finishing and writing better than you did before.

Take A Moment and Consider These Thoughts
Really think about what I've said here. Do you feel encouraged? Then know and believe that with that kind of encouragement you will see a series of successes.
It is possible.

Now, go and write and complete and feel the peace of finishing. It is possible, but it will never be perfect. That is normal.

Keep on learning, keep on writing.
~Roger Deutsch