At the bottom of this post is the video that inspired this blog. The parts that I think are most helpful to writers are the first two minutes, and then from the 5:00 mark onward.
Doreen Virtue, the woman in the video, made an amazing point. She basically said that you are never completely “ready” to start a new adventure or go forward with a dream. There will never be a time where you will say, “Well, I know everything I need to know about this, let’s do it!” Because of this, you will be tempted to continue to “research.”
Writers are sooo good at this, aren’t we? We will research a topic to death. For the Fae Sight series (which I *finally* started blogging), I bought several books about faeries. I interviewed a expert on fairy lore. I even started going on nature walks and took pictures of places or spots that reminded me of possible “fairy hangouts.” Was it fun? Sure. The problem, though, was that I wasn’t writing. Oh, I took notes. My OneNote “binder” on the subject is loaded with notes and write-ups about the series main characters, settings, geography, plots, creatures…it will make a great reading companion one day. Still, that is not the book itself. The first draft of the book was down, but I had not done any editing on it, and my self-imposed deadline to start blogging it was fast approaching.
You probably noticed that I didn’t blog here last weekend. There were two reasons: first, my allergies had reduced me to a sniffing, sneezing mess. But more importantly, I had finally decided to sit down and prepare my other blog for publication, so to speak. I edited the first few pages of the novel and separated it out into smaller, blog-sized chunks. I almost got distracted by searching for a new WordPress theme for it, but pulled myself back to the book.
This all came down to a battle against fear. In fiction writing, there isn’t an authority for you to get accredited from and become a Certified Fiction Writer (if there was, I bet nearly all of us would sign up). You can get an MFA, but does that really mean you’re “qualified” to write fiction?
The truth is, there will never be a point where you know all you need to know. There will never be a point where you will think that your writing is perfect, and if you do think so, someone will be quick to knock you off of your high horse. You will always feel that you could benefit from one more class, one more instructional book, one more critique.
Eventually, you will have to just shrug, polish the novel up nicely, and send it out into the world. Ready or not, here we go…