Writers are so brave.
Why do I think so? Humans dislike uncertainty. We tend to resist leaping into the void.
And for good reason. Our nervous systems are trying to keep us safe, and the unknown is just that—unknown.
Yet we writers must continually cross that scary border from knowing to not knowing, from certainty to uncertainty.
We’re always plunging into the blank page, the scene we haven’t written yet, the plot we’re still figuring out.
No wonder we resist writing! From the outside it looks like we’re safely at our desks, but inside, our nervous systems feel like we’re jumping out a plane every time we sit down to work.
I suspect this is why I get so many questions about process — what do we have to “know” to start writing, how much should we plan in advance, and so on.
In my recent livestream I offer some concrete advice about that perennial question: How much do we need to “know” about our story to write it? The answers for drafting are different than the answers for revision. I touch on both.
➡️ But I also address the elephant in the room, which is this: The question “how much do I need to know?” is really about the anxiety of not knowing.
Bottom line? We are the ones making it up! There are no “right” answers but the ones we invent. So how can we approach this never-ending leap into the void with confidence and joy?
Hint: You’re not falling. You’re flying.
p.s.— I’m just about done putting together Path of the Storyteller’s summer offerings. Join my mailing list to learn about these opportunities to level up your fiction writing skills:
Interested in learning how to write story-packed scenes that keep your readers turning pages? Great news coming your way!
Eager to know the right way to approach revision without getting overwhelmed? Got you covered!
Are you ready for a deep dive into story structure and writing craft? The Path of the Storyteller flagship program is waiting for you! (And expect some changes that make this transformative MFA-in-a-semester even more accessible to those who want all the training but at a more flexible pace.)