This theme of overwhelm has come up in multiple book concept consultations in the past week as I’ve met with new participants in my Bring Your Book to Life Program.
As I take them through a visualization I call, “Meet Your Muse,” the messages from their muses have been consistent as well–versions of, “One page at a time.” The muses seem to concur that you don’t need to focus on the big picture the whole time.
Most of these book-writers have begun their outlines–using a process I suggest with color-coded index cards. Once the outline is done, just pick a section and begin. You don’t have to start with the chapter that “scares you” as one writer put it. Choose a fun chapter, or one you feel excited to write. That’s the beauty of the outline. It provides a structure so you can be more free.
I once had a book writing course participant who took one day off a week and planned to write eight hours that day. She said she couldn’t manage writing any other day. She struggled until she could let go of the pressure of an eight hour writing day. Ideally, start with small blocks of time. Try a half hour. If you find yourself just getting into the rhythm of writing, increase your writing blocks to an hour or two. After that, you’ll probably need a break. Take a walk outside. Then begin again.
What are your tricks for getting past overwhelm? Share them as a comment below. Or share your writing challenges and I’ll provide what experience and suggestions I can to help you.