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Did You Fall Out of Love With Your Writing Idea?

Because it’s ok if you did. You’re allowed to change your mind. 

Did I ever tell you about the first novel I tried to write last year? I spent five months writing it—and the last month of “writing” it was me two-finger typing and wanting to bang my head onto the table with each stroke. 

I hated my novel. 

I was 50 pages (24K+ words!) and I felt like crying every day that I sat down to write. I wanted to be a writer, a real writer, and I couldn’t even finish my novel.

I was talking to my therapist at the time about how much writer’s block I had and she asked me, “why do you think you’re stuck.” Not “why are you stuck” but “why do you think you’re stuck” and it hit me like—I was stuck because I didn’t want to write what I was writing, I had another idea I was flirting with, but I felt guilty about abandoning ship. 

Here’s the thing: there are no rules (we know this is my favorite saying, and if you know me well enough you know it’s because I was and still am in some ways the #1 rule follower) and if what  you’re writing isn’t serving you, isn’t inspiring you, isn’t speaking to you, you can put it down. 

I’m not saying flit from idea to idea, but instead really focus on what drives you, what motivates you, what is calling you to write. Ask yourself why you want to write the idea, and who you’re writing it for, and those two answers should tell you whether or not it’s worth pursing. 

After that conversation with my therapist I put that first novel down and picked up the one I had been thinking about in the background, the idea that kept popping up louder and louder the sadder I got while I was writing the first novel…and the very next day I sat down to work on it. Three months later, I finished the first full draft of my manuscript.

The difference between Idea 1 and Idea 2 was that with the second idea, I knew my characters, I knew their story, and I needed to tell it. And so I did. 

And it was hard–don’t get me wrong. I wrote Monday – Friday for three months (with occasional missed days) and there was a lot of bargaining with myself at times. But that’s a story for another day. 

I want you to write what you need to write. 

Write the idea that you can’t get out of your head. 

I guarantee when you honor that wish your brain and your fingers will work together and your pages will start flying by.