Just Write Something

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

As I work on A School of Many Futures, the sequel to A Bridge To The Quiet Planet, I end up on a mental rollercoaster. I’ve found a way to deal with that.

I’m sure you’ve had ups and downs in your writing – for me, having done nonfiction for so long, writing fiction is trying. Sure I got one novel out after not doing much fiction for awhile, but it took a lot to get back into it. The second novel produces it’s own challenges, from plotting to questions, and though it’s easier than the first book, I have my moments.

Do I do this twist? Should I do something else? Maybe a short story to jumpstart me?

The worst part of writing fiction is you wonder. You can speculate endlessly on what you should do and where you’re going. You’re creative, and you can use your creativity to worry at an amazing rate.

Several of my friends made the same point to me – when in doubt, just write.

If you write, then you get something done.

You have something to use in your story. It may be good enough.

You have something to edit. Sure it’s bad, but at least it can be fixed.

You can try out an idea and see if it works. If it fails, then at least you know (and you can put it in file to save it for later).

If you write, then you don’t worry about being blocked – you keep moving, even if it’s imperfect.

You get your mind moving, so even if what you made is unusable, uneditable, and unsavable, then your brain is in writing mode.

One friend of mine noted that when drafting, they will make it scriptlike and edit it later. You don’t even have to write things in full, just write enough to have something.

This has helped me get over some blockages the last week. I’m writing, even if it’s not perfect or needs editing. I’m thinking and revising my work, improving it over time and seeing it in new lights. Most of all I’m not stagnant, so I’m moving forward no matter what.

Sure there’s challenges – but something is getting done, and each time I’m one step closer to a book.

The only book that fails is the one never written. So next time you’re not sure what to do, write. That’s one thing that can guarantee a book or story or post is done.

Just write something.

Steven Savage