For the life of me, I cannot get “All At Once” by The Fray out of my head. “…Sometimes the hardest thing and the right are the same.”
Not quite this week’s topic, but close.
To me, the easiest thing and the hardest thing vary widely. It depends on the project, my life at the moment, and sometimes, how much caffeine I’ve had that day.
You see, right now, the hardest thing is to not think about my idea for my NaNo novel this year. I’m trying desperately not to spend all of my time thinking about it in hopes that I won’t get completely bored with it when I start writing. Now that it’s October and we’re having weekly brainstorming meetings, I’m slowly letting myself think about the world I’m writing, if not the actual plot. But if you’ve ever tried working on a new project, it’s nearly impossible to just turn off the creative part of your brain once you’ve started on something.
I can’t, for instance, stop myself from coming up with an idea for how my world deals with criminals when I’m in the middle of washing my hair.
There’s no switch, no button, no magic incantation that allows me to pause all my creativity and set it aside for a time that is more convenient.
The good news is that when I decide I want to think about this project, it’s really easy.
Now, all of this is just for this project, which, by NaNoWriMo rules, I am not allowed to start until November 1st. Which means, that at 11:59 P.M. on October 31st, I’m going to be at my computer, hands poised over the keys, so that I can start writing the moment the clock turns and it becomes November.
November is the exception to the rule.
For almost all of my projects, starting is the hardest part.
(Also, kissing scenes. Kissing scenes are AWFUL to write.)
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Ze Frank, but if you’re not, I highly encourage you to watch his YouTube channel. He has a lot of great advice and talks about a variety of topics. One of which is brain crack.
Brain crack is the phenomena where someone becomes in love with an idea. They become so in love with the idea that they spend all of their time thinking about it. They may or may not share any of their new idea with other people, but it is always there. They perfect it and perfect it and perfect it until they become addicted to the perfecting.
You see, once you start working on a project, it’s no longer the perfect form that you’ve formed in your mind. It’s the same problem that happens when you go to draw a picture of your house, and it ends up as a square with a triangle on top instead of anything resembling a picture that wasn’t drawn by an eight year old. (If you are an artist and can actually draw, I apologize. I’m still working on my stick figures.)
Starting is scary. What if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would? What if it’s not any good? Or worse, what if it is good? What do you do with it then?
But once you start? It gets easier.
The ideas flow. That switch that doesn’t exist for me right now? It doesn’t exist then either. (For the most part.) You learn to accept your work for what it is, for what it’s changing into, and you enjoy it.
There’s no set “hardest” or “easiest” thing in writing. And just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s going to get less hard. I still dread opening a new document to start writing.
Don’t use that as an excuse. Open up the damn document and get to work.
Don’t skip through the hard stuff just because you don’t like it. You’re still going to have to do it. If I don’t open a new document to start writing, I’m never going to get to the easy parts that I like to write, like witty dialogue.
Besides, what’s witty dialogue without a good kissing scene to balance it?