Okay, most of us are writers, right? Whether we are well into a career, have a manuscript or two under our belt but haven’t cracked that ‘publication’ hurdle yet or are still in the ‘thinking about writing a book’ stage, we all harbor dreams of writing that perfect book.
And to write that perfect book, we need to have the perfect plot. Or at least we have to have A plot – someone, probably an editor – will notice if we don’t :o)
How to plot is the million dollar question. And for my money, plotting is the most single difficult issue. My writing friends often ask me – how do you plot? How do you get all those pieces working together in a seamless, cohesive story?
Now I love my writing friends. And I want to help them in any way I can. So I always answer them truthfully: I DON’T KNOW!!!
How can that be? But I really don’t know. It’s humiliating and embarrassing and ego busting. I mean really. I’ve been fortunate enough to have sold over 30 books, and currently have a publisher who is anxiously awaiting delivery of yet one more. Shouldn’t I know what I’m doing by now? Well, shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t I be able to sit down each morning to write, full of confidence as I merrily charge through plot point after plot point, guided by my carefully crafted blueprint that will lead me effortlessly to a stunning and brilliant conclusion? Shouldn’t I be able to write ten to twenty pages a day without batting an eye?
Well, I bat my eyes. A lot. Ticks develop. It ain’t pretty. And it’s demoralizing to look up from the PC that you sat down in front of at 8:00 am, realize it’s 2:30 pm and you’ve written all of two – count ‘em TWO – paragraphs.
Okay. So ALL days are not like that but more than I’d like to count – or admit to – are. And the really weird thing – given all of this turmoil, I still manage to get my books written, turn them in on time and make my publisher happy.
Is there a point to all of this? Well, actually, yeah. I’m a deeply disturbed writer – but that’s not the point today. The point is, we all struggle in this crazy business – with plot, with characterization, with carrying on. And because I know I’m not alone, I want to share something that I hope will help. NO, sorry, it’s not how I plot – that was just a ruse to get you reading. But we can talk about plotting sometime if you’d like. What I want to share are some affirmations that a dear friend shared with me and that have helped me through those two paragraph days so that I can get on to the ten to twenty page days and whip that elusive plot into shape.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR WRITERS
* Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.
* I like and respect myself. I know I am a worthy, capable and valuable person.
* I guide my own destiny, and I’m accountable for the results of my decisions and actions.
* I reinforce my successes and correct for errors.
* I easily anticipate and experience events in my imagination before they actually happen.
* I am my own expert, and I am not affected by the negative attitudes and opinions of others.
* I easily balance the needs of my family with my own need to write.
* Creativity flows through me easily and effortlessly.
* I am a talented writer.
* I have a positive expectancy of big success, and I take temporary setbacks easily.
* I am a creative person and develop my plots with confidence and imagination.
* Images and words come easily when I sit down to write.
* I have unlimited potential; I have unlimited creativity.
* I happily accept the joys and responsibilities of being published and welcome success.
* I write daily with excitement, enthusiasm, and confidence.
* I am well-organized and have a vivid picture of my goals.
* I don’t wait for inspiration. Work inspires inspiration. If I succeed, I keep working. If I fail, I keep working. Whether I feel interested or bored, energized or tired, encouraged or discouraged, I keep working.
* I have the craftsmanship and creativity to successfully finish this book.
And yet a few more self-affirmations from Shad Helmstetter: (THE SELF-TALK SOLUTION)
* I have talents and skills and abilities. I even have talents and skills that I don’t know about yet. And I am discovering new talents inside myself all the time.
* I invest my time and energies where I choose. My time and energy are gifts which I guard and give by my choice - - but never by the demands, dictates, or the expectations of others.
* I am a winner. I am absolutely determined to achieve my aims. I am steadfast and persistent in the pursuit of my goals, and I will not give up.
* Each day my confidence in my self-expression grows stronger and even more positive. I express myself easily, without fear or uncertainty.
* Each day I consciously remove from my mind the imaginary bindings of self-doubt and the unnecessary limitations of uncertainty and fear.
* I am never afraid to try.
* I was not created to fail; I was created to succeed. Success is a part of who I am and a part of everything about me.
Okay people. These things only work if you use them. My advice – print them out, place them where you can access them at any time and READ THEM OUTLOUD until you start believing them.
Does anyone else have ‘props’ they use to help them through those tough writing days? Have you relied on affirmations before and have they been helpful? Am I the only one out here who doesn’t know what she’s doing???? Let’s hear it. Disturbed minds want to know.