“Oh, crap.” The Process of Writing a Book
I sat down at the computer ready to go. The decision was made. I knew my topic and all I needed to do was start writing. I had begun to tell people I was going to write a book so I had better do it. As I stared at the blank screen I started to question the wisdom of announcing my intention to write a book. The idea sounded very cool and I must admit that I liked that people thought I had something to write about. However, the actual writing did not feel cool at all. I had always valued follow-through. I found myself annoyed with people who would make big announcements and then not follow-through. I did not want to be one of those people who talked the talk but did not walk the walk. “So write! Get going! ….oh, crap.” Not a very literary or professional thought at all! But that was the truth of my thought process. My thoughts had moved from creative intentions to outright panic.
I had taken a weekend Mastermind Writers course that helped me outline my book. I had the chapter titles and a synopsis but alas, no book. The course had helped me tremendously although I had initially thought it was odd to be taking a writers course when I had not yet written anything. On reflection it was the perfect thing to do because it helped me get my ideas straight before I got too deeply set in bad habits. I actually loved the synopsis I wrote. It was smart, sharp, and no nonsense. This was the type of book I wanted to write. I wanted to avoid anything flaky and even hoped that some of my sense of humour would come through in my writings. “Where to start? Where to start? ….Oh crap!” There it was again ….panic.
I told myself to write about my first thoughts, about whatever came into my mind. “It does not have to be perfect. Just get going. If you build it they will come.” Oh no. Now I was quoting Kevin Costner movies in my head. Then it began to come to me. I started with the story of my struggle with perfectionism and how I first began to turn perfectionism into exceptionalism. I simply began to type and would worry about editing later. The vision was foggy but at least a thought was emerging and beginning to take shape…