Learning to Trust

This is about writing, but also about life.

Everyone has a process on how they write – and in an informal survey of many writers I’ve met over the years,  your process is usually the hardest possible. Hey, don’t blame me, it’s science.

Mine, for example. I’m a see-it-to-believe-it kinda gal. I tend not to trust much that I haven’t had experience with. I believe in advance preparation and practice makes perfect. I love outlines and to-do lists. Okay, I’m a bit anal. I can admit it.

So what process do I get? I know my characters when I start, what they need to learn, and that the book ends in a hopeful place. That’s it. My brain won’t outline – if I know too much, I don’t want to write the book. Takes all the fun out of it.

So my process could be called, ‘walking through a dark room full of furniture’.

This has always freaked me out. If I can’t have at least some control of the process, how do I trust it? What if I write myself into a corner I can’t get out of? What if I never get another idea?

Sounds silly, I know, but aren’t most of our thoughts in a freak-out moment, silly?

I’ve written 14.75 books so far. And I realized this week that the more I trust my brain, the faster and better the result on the page.

Yeah, I mentioned that everyone gets the hardest process for them, right?

This book I’m writing is, in ways, the hardest I’ve written so far. It’s a Women’s Fiction, about the right to die. Though I have strong opinions on the subject, I didn’t want that to come through. It involves a court case – I know nothing of the law. I didn’t know the ending.

Those things all stopped me for a while. But you can only stay stuck for so long. I had no deadline (this is an option book), so I waited. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t patient.

But one day I sat down to write an emotional court scene. I knew the outcome, but not how I’d get there. For once, I wasn’t worried (I guess worry wears off, given enough time). I couldn’t believe it, but when  I sat down, the words were there. The scene played out before me, and it was good!  The next day was the same. And the next.

Apparently, a lot goes on in the back of my head that I’m not privy to. And thank God for that.

I’m going to wing the rest of the book the same way. MUCH easier!

This has taught me to trust. At least with my writing. What if I applied this to the rest of my life?

That is a scary thought…but one I’m going to try.

Less worry, more trust.

How about you? Are you a planner/worrier?

Willing to try it with me?

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