Have you ever stood in the middle of a big city and felt completely overwhelmed with the large buildings and the bustling crowds? It’s easy to feel extremely small and insignificant next to those large skyscrapers. I got a little taste of that this last weekend when I was in NYC on a short vacation. I have also had that feeling when trying to approach writing this book.
Let’s be real, writing a novel is a big project and I often feel overwhelmed by it. It would be so much easier to crawl into bed and hide under the covers than attempt to conquer such a foe. Truth is, I have felt that way many times. Each time I take a small step forward in this process I end up finding out that I missed three steps and now have to back track. If this were a race, I’m the idiot standing ten miles past the starting line going “well this ain’t so bad.” Duh.
Of course after I realized that the race was actually 20 miles long, not ten, I started to panic. I just want to write a story, who knew there was so much leg work that needed to be done before you actually put pen to paper? I didn’t. So now I’m trudging back to start all over, hopefully the right way this time.
I think a lot of people get to this point and give up. Looking forward and seeing this massive endeavor ahead of you I think it’s easier to throw in the towel than it is to keep going. But what will giving up get you? Nothing. So instead of focusing on how large and intimidating the project is instead try focusing on the first step. For me, I’m now going back to write out a chapter outline for each chapter of my book. This is a great way to map out your story before you actually start writing your chapters. It’s also a good way, if you’re planning on writing a series, to start thinking about your overall plotline. What is your first step? Think about it and then do it.
Don’t worry about steps eight, nine, and ten. Worry about step one and if step one still seems overwhelming break it down further. For example, that chapter online I was telling you about? That’s a big project. Writing an outline for three books seems like a lot to chew so instead I chose to focus on writing the outline for chapter one. Only chapter one. Once that’s completed I can move on to chapter two and so on and so forth until I’ve completed the entire outline. See? Not so bad after all.
So what is your first step? Or the first step to your first step? Take it. Right now! Don’t wait. Don’t say tomorrow. Do it now! You’ll feel great afterward and that big overwhelming project will feel just a little less overwhelming.
Until next time here’s an inspirational quote to get you through:
“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” - Annonymous