Are you one of those people who absolutely HATES being the one to have to make the final decision? Where are we going to eat? Which movie are we going to see? It’s bad enough when you have to decide for other people. What about when you have to decide for your characters … and yourself?
Life is often just a series of choices, if you think about it. Which is great when you win no matter which option you choose (will it be pizza or tacos?), but not so great when none of the options before you seem appealing.
Writing stories is also usually a succession of choosing one thing or the other. Often subconsciously, but sometimes actively.
When you think about writing and ideas, there are always two choices: sit down and write something, or avoid writing altogether.
You can choose to think an idea over, or sit down and start writing.
Write what you know, or write what you don’t.
Play it safe, or take a risk.
Write something, or nothing at all.
We get upset when we realize we haven’t been writing as much as we’ve wanted to … and then we realize the only thing holding us back from getting all that writing done is all the times we had to choose between writing and doing something else, and chose the latter.
It’s not always that simple, though. Sometimes it is a matter of life or death (figuratively, obviously). Is that character we love and cherish so much going to live, or does he have to die? Are we going to throw in that dark twist, or veer the plot in a different direction? Are we going to write something we know our readers will like, or dare to write something many of them might not?
If you want to take your writing to the next level, you need to start by making the right choices. Choose to wake up a little earlier or stay up a little later to make more time for writing. Choose to use all your YouTube subscriptions as rewards instead of another way to procrastinate. Choose to take a few risks when you tell your stories.
Sure. All that makes writing feel more like work and less like a hobby. And it’s scary. And a lot of the time, you probably aren’t going to want to do it.
Whether you decide to keep your writing journey moving at a slow but steady pace or give it plenty of time to sit still and think over its next steps, that decision will shape not only your stories, but, basically, your whole life.
You can write … or not.
The choice, as always, is yours to make.
What is the hardest choice, related to writing, you have ever had to make? Share your story below.
Image courtesy of Wonderlane/flickr.com.