Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Well we made it!!
It's Wednesday, May 2nd which means the A-Z Challenge has ended and it's time again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group started by Alex Cavanaugh.  It's a place where we can share our fears, our hopes and our dreams.  Come join us!

After finishing the Challenge I feel great! Some days were difficult, but I managed to come up with something  every day.  Now it's time to tackle the rest of my WIP.  As of yesterday I have 29,102 words!  I'm thrilled, but as I sit at the computer,  insecure thoughts flash through my head.  Maybe I should change the POV.  Is the story unique?  Am I taking my MC in the right direction?  How am I ever going to bring everything together?  

I try to suppress these nasty little thoughts, but they continue to pop into my head.  I think it's the insecurity of having complete freedom to take my story in any direction I can dream up. Am I really capable of choosing correctly?

A researcher in Stanford University's psychology department did a study a few years ago on how too many choices can affect the brain.  She discovered there are an optimal number of choices, which allow us to choose comfortably. But when given a number over that amount, our brains become unsure and our ability to choose is diminished.  Check out this article to read more about it.

My brain wants to hide when I think about all the possible directions I could take my story in and I only get 20 words written. So I've decided I'm sticking to my original plan and I'm eliminating all other possible paths, until it's finished.  Then I will go back and decide if it needs to be changed, but at least I will have a complete manuscript.

How do you ignore or get rid of those nagging little questions that try to undermine your work?

Have a great day!!!

Kathy :)      


  1. Keep it up. You've come along way, and it sounds like the story is taking off well.

  2. It seems that if your story has a central theme or message it would naturally limit the directions you can choose from to stay on track with your theme or message. Or maybe I'm oversimplifying. :)

  3. I've never heard of that study before, but I can relate. If I give my kids too many choices, like: "What do you want to wear?" They can't seem to make up their mind. But if I chose two or three outfits and lay them out and ask the same question they immediately can pick the outfit the want for the day. Limiting their choices makes it easier for them to choose. I think it works the same while writing, at least according to the article.

    Great topic,

  4. When I was about 1/2 way through my current MS, I thought...OMG, I need to change my point of view. I debated about it a few days, then realized I was right. So, I went back through and change it. It took several days to get in the habit of writing in first person present, since the old version was third person past tense. I had a friend beta read just the first couple of chapters, since she had read the original draft, to see if she thought it was stronger. She politely pointed out that the only change was to first person and the tense. What she was SAYING, was: where is the freakin' internal monologue? I immediately realized she was right, and I went back again and added that in. It made a HUGE difference. It was EXACTLY what was lacking. Now I am about 50K words in, and I can feel how much stronger it all is. Honestly, for me, I am not sure I could have muddled through the other way, but I can certainly understand waiting until you are finished. Several chapters became TWICE as long (or even longer) once I went back and added the internal dimension. Whatever you decide, good luck! I know it is easy to start second guessing things!

  5. a great post. i think i'll read that article. i always have a ton of choices in my brain.

  6. I play loud music at the annoying questions, and it seems to work. I try to find music that captures the mood of a story and I listen to it (kind of over and over) until I have a story. Okay, it's way harder than that, but the way I get the crazy doubts to be quiet is to let the idea of my story fester for so long that I'm bursting to get it on paper. By holding back for so long, I rush in the writing (my first drafts aren't pretty), and I can't stop to listen to any voice that says "Well what if we went there instead?" No time. I entertain those questions after I'm holding a first draft.

  7. okay.... I'm starting to freak out. I'm doing the insecure writers first wednesday of the month and I'm realizing that I really am the only writer that didn't participate in the A to Z thing :( see... its true, its true, too many choices are affecting my brain! helpful (and fun) post!

  8. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the freedom I have to do whatever I want with my story! It could go anywhere, so how do I know what the "right" path is?? I think the answer is that there isn't a right path, and any number of them could be great, so keep writing and decide if you like it when you're finished.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  9. I go through a 'this sucks' phase usually during final edits. The same thoughts you're thinking right now, go through my head. They are right now for the book I'm releasing in July. I trust that my crit partners would have told me if I was completely off the rails. They didn't. So, I hold steady, knowing the final polish will make it sing. Knowing at some point I'll be happy again.

    I think it's all just part of the creative process. I've heard artists say similar things about their work.