There is so much writing advice out there. Tips and tricks, instruction and direction, ways to plot and ways to pants.
We want to read all that advice. It’s a conundrum. We can’t stop learning (and who would want to?) but we must, eventually, get on with it.
If I’m spending weeks (okay, months years) reading about how to write, I’m not writing. It’s really that simple.
Some will say it’s self-doubt. Some that it’s fear of failure (or success). Eh. It’s certainly possible.
I think part of it is “the writer’s mind”.
We want to educate ourselves on all sorts of things. We want to know what’s what with the age group we’re targeting – what our audience will respond to. Or learn as much as we can about the setting of our story. Or what the hospital procedure would be for our character who’s just been brought in with a knife wound.
Admittedly, there’s a bit of Am I doing this right? but that’s to be expected and, honestly, I’m not sure how much of that can be blamed on self-doubt. I guess it depends. Because “the writer’s mind” is a tricky thing.
Listen to yourself and your tone: How should I write my book?
That is kind of a huge question. It’s also an interesting one. How are you saying it? Why are you asking it?
That can be a self-doubter’s dream. It puts off the actual writing part of writing your book.
Is this a good opening? I like to just write but so-and-so says I should outline. I should really learn to outline. But I recently read that article about how to plot as a pantser. I should read that again. Or maybe I should listen to that podcast about…oh, yeah, that agent is having a Q&A on Twitter today! I should totally do that.
Then again, it’s smart. It gives you much-needed info about the process, category, and genre, among other things.
How many pages does a MG novel have to be? Can I use swears? Is kissing allowed for this age group? Actually…is this MG or YA?
These are valid questions. Definitely do some research. But, then, sit down and start typing. It might be a good idea to set aside a bit of time for even more research as the market changes or unexpected scenes pop up in your book. But don’t get sidetracked. I’ve noticed (from personal experience) writers love to read about writing, write about writing, and talk about writing.
That’s awesome. All of it. But we also need to write.
So, once you’ve read and learned and researched and read some more, the question How Should I Write My Book? is quite easily answered: Sit down and write.
Is this an issue for you? Do you put off your writing to read about writing?