People often tell me that they want to write a book, “Someday.” I always encourage them to start now. “Someday” might never come. When they say they’re not sure they can do it, I assure them they can. Don’t let anything get between you and your dreams, I tell them.
But I don’t quite follow my own advice.
Yes, I write, but I’ve abandoned more projects than I’ve completed—and I’ve abandoned completed novels, too. Meanwhile, my critique group’s leader has published three books. A fourth in the series will hit bookstores next month. We’ve both been at this for about the same amount of time. What’s the difference between us? Month after month, she has been willing to show us whatever she’s got, and not worry about whether it’s any good or not yet. Me, on the other hand? I’ve refused to submit anything I haven’t revised and polished. Some months, I’ve not submitted anything because “it isn’t good enough yet.” She takes chances.
I need to take more chances, too.
I’ve already started showing the critique group raw drafts. I want to do more. That’s why I’m challenging myself to post something new on my blog every day for the next fourteen days. At least one post per day, at least 250 words, on any topic. And it has to be written within 24 hours of posting. Agonizing over something for days runs counter to my purpose.
The inner critic is howling right now.
Every day? For two weeks? You’ll never make it. No one will want to read what you write. Even if they do, they won’t like it. You’ll write something crappy and embarrass yourself.
It goes on in that vein, constantly. It’s tedious, and it’s past time I taught it to shut the hell up.