Write Brave.

(My mom is going to have a fit that I didn’t title this “WRITE BRAVELY”. I KNOW MOM. I KNOW).

So here’s the thing about writing books.

Sometimes you get a project and you know from page 1 (or at least you are hopeful) that it will work! You may not know if it will SELL (that’s a whole different beast) but you know that the bones are there.

And then.

Sometimes.

You have a project where you question yourself at every stage. Maybe it’s in a new genre, or it’s taking chances in structure – plot, POV, character, what-have-you. Maybe it’s wacky/crazy. Whatever it is, it’s taking you out of your comfort zone.

And that’s scary.

But it’s not a reason to give up. Not a reason to hold down the delete key until you’re back on pg. 1, waiting for the safe, the stable, the known.

Even if there’s a chance, a good chance, that the story won’t work, it’s always worth following it. Because it might surprise you. Stories that unstable, that different, are bound to. And if it doesn’t work, it’s been good practice. Maybe one of your cast of characters will find its way into a new project.

I have two projects right now. One I know (I know the bones are there, and I’m pretty sure I can write it). And one that scares the sh*t out of me because I don’t know it and it’s not clean and in order and the characters are all strange and the story is odd but THAT IS WHY I LOVE IT. I love not knowing if it will work. I can’t quit the book. Little warning lights have been flashing in my head since I first started, since before I started, but I CANNOT QUIT THIS BOOK.

It’s my fling. It’s passionate and volatile and not-so-healthy and strange and sometimes.

SOMETIMES.

You need a little fun. You need the threat of something succeeding or failing spectacularly and the knowledge that every day it’s walking that line. You need a challenge.

Don’t play it safe.

Challenge yourself.

PLEASE.

Because when you write something safe and it doesn’t work it SUCKS. You sit and you try to understand why. What did you do wrong? You followed the rules. You hit all the right notes.

BUT.

When you write something bold and it doesn’t work, you don’t have to wonder why, you don’t have to sit and agonize and get lost in the business or the rules or the trends. You can be free in the knowledge that you took a chance. And then, instead of crawling back to safe (it won’t be any easier) take another chance.

And another.

My friend told me to WRITE BRAVE. And he was right.

Take a chance.

Have a fling.

Love your work.

Because then it’s never work (until you have to edit :p)

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18 thoughts on “Write Brave.

  1. hcpalmquist says:

    What a FANTASTIC post on writing!!! Thanks for inspiring me to push on with my know-it-will-work WIP and then my dear-god-this-is-going-to-take-all-I-have project.

  2. Steph says:

    I’ve been freaking out a lot over my current project. It’s good to know other people feel the same way. Thanks for posting this =)

  3. Danielle says:

    Oh my V! I needed this. It’s perfect timing. I’m in one of those what-the-heck projects too. I’ve been saying all week that it scares the heck out of me…but I love it. Thanks for sharing. This is good stuff.

    • veschwab says:

      So glad this fit (and it made sense to someone else! Hallelujah). We all get into those projects, and because they don’t conform we worry they must be WRONG. But there is no wrong in writing. Ever. I’ll stand by that.

  4. Kerry Schafer says:

    Preach it, sister! Perfect post for me today. I’m fighting that very battle. Onward!

  5. Nice post! I have a project that is very similar. Basically every time I open the document, I have this thought like…oh god, I know I’m not a good enough writer to pull this off…but dayum when I start writing it’s SO EXCITING. It may not work; it certainly would make my agent come at me with alarm bells in her eyes, but it feels right, even if it feels like it might take me ten years to make it work.

    • veschwab says:

      YES! I know the feeling. Both feelings. I don’t know HOW this book can possibly come together, but I can’t deny the chemistry I feel with it when I’m writing. If it feels good, DON’T DENY YOURSELF. Every book we write, published, publishable, or not, helps us as writers.

  6. This is exactly what I needed to read this very minute. Thank you.

  7. Can’t wait to read your brave story!

    • veschwab says:

      Hahaha the brave story has a LONG way to go before ANY eyes alight on it. But you better believe if *I* get brave enough to show someone, it will be you :p

  8. Such a helpful post. My last post was “What Keeps You Writing?” which I wrote on a day when I was questioning myself and my writing. It’s so weird how much pressure we put on ourselves and our writing. I have to keep reminding myself of why I write.

  9. Carolin says:

    Argh. Is it bad that nearly every project feels like this lately? I suppose I’m one of those neurotic writers that freaks on a daily basis about her stuff. *gg*

    Love this post. It’s very inspiring and makes me want to continue working on my volatile lover book. hehe

    Also, I have to admit, that I got a little twitch in my fingers when I read ‘write brave’, so your line about your mum made me laugh. 😀

  10. Harley May says:

    This is perfect, Victoria. Write toward the fear. Yes, a loud resounding YES. Thank you for writing this.

    I always doubt, but I think that means you care.

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