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Author Topic: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small  (Read 449 times)

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Offline eldritchmaestro

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Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:51:08 AM »
Focus on The Big, Ignore the small

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If you're stuck at the actual process of writing a work, your problem may be the fact that you're hindering the natural process of your creative mind to churn out stuff and get things done, that is, you are focusing on micro-managing the creation process.

As a writer you've got to accept that there is a lot of stuff that you already have, no matter what you think your skill level is, there are things that are automatically within your ability that you don't really need to think about. As breathing is automatic until you're told about it (sorry ), as your heart beats without any mention, as you know exactly how to move your hands across keyboard or paper there are stuff you don't really need to study per se to be able to do, and will improve themselves over time anyways as you work further.

That applies to storywriting too. Other than plot and character related writers block you've got to choose a medium and stick with it. You've got to stop thinking up a perfect room that doesn't exist where you feel you'll be able to write. You've got to stop fantasizing about a plan to write 15 minutes every day, or fantasizing about building up a library of complete works. That stuff comes along as a by product of getting started on your story.

In this age it's pretty hard to just get started and stick with an idea, I mean there are thousands of kinds of writing that each sound fascinating to listen to. Your mind tingles in awe at the romantic fact that some writers do the whole yellow legal pad and pencil thing. Or what about writing 200 words every morning and eventually getting a 1,400 word short story every week! That's 54 short stories in a year! Amazing! Wow I wish I could do that!

That's you planning, micro managing, focusing on the small stuff to perfect your process, instead of actually getting into the process and refining things from there. In a battlefield you don't have time to oil every bullet or check if your rifle won't jam and see if everyone in your team is ready. You've got to work with what you have at the moment and go from there.

And it's understandeable if you are a more cautious type to think: That's just preparing for disaster. But don't underestimate the human mind! You're a badass biological machine! You have a badass soul! Think of it, all the what-if situations you think up on a whim when you watch your favourite anime. How your mind is almost never silent, always thinking, always churning along. Do you ever need to steer those thoughts? What about our insane motor skills we use for typing or writing. (Especially when it comes to writing, you've got to appreciate what you've learnt. Try your name with the wrong hand. Frustrating, neh? Erm... If you're not ambidextrous at least).

And the thousands of things that are impressive but that you don't need to consider go on from there. With the internet, any book is in your reach, really. Any resource. The technology is amazing, it allows you to transmit information on an internet forum while you're having a coffee without even using Microsoft Word as a medium. Instantaneous, effecient.

It's all well and all to appreciate these things, even have philosophical discussions. And hell yeah I love me some debates over hard-copy writing vs soft-copy writing. Read all the tips and tutorials you want, read all the resources. But don't let it get in the way of actually getting stuff done. It's like trying to be wise without living your life - it just doesn't work. Things come along with time, and you've got to trust yourself that the processes are all running well an in order, so that you can focus on the actual story instead of the small things.

TL/DR: Focus on creating the story instead of planning and refining how you write your story - That stuff is already being done automatically so you can refine it later.


My two shillings

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 01:04:20 PM »
Can confirm. Usually I set myself up with specific "end goals" for "scenes" and "acts" as opposed to focusing on how I'm going to get there. I let actions rise and fall and when I get to a point where I'm like "now what?", I just write down the first thing that makes sense, and if it turns out that it doesn't, I'll figure out a reason later.

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Re: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2018, 01:49:35 PM »
true stuff
some of my motivation quotes stolen off Wikipedia that are of similar idea:
Quote
"Better one safe way than a hundred on which you cannot reckon." — Aesop's The Fox and the Cat

"The perfect is the enemy of the good." — Voltaire

"The best thing is to do the right thing; the next best is to do the wrong thing; the worst thing of all things is to stand perfectly still" — Alfred Henry Lewis (on Theodore Roosevelt and politics)

"The maxim 'Nothing avails but perfection' may be spelt shorter: 'Paralysis.'" — Winston Churchill

"Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes" — Robert Watson-Watt

"Better a good decision quickly than the best decision too late." — Harold Geneen

Offline eldritchmaestro

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Re: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2018, 06:05:09 PM »
Those are some legit quotes there suuper. The Churchill one is so nicely said, but the Geneen one is my favourite.

@Mahlua seems legit haha

Offline EffulgentFirefly

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Re: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 11:03:38 PM »
Definitely true. Of course, I speak more on the topic of novels rather than short stories, so my loose planning is setup different than some, but this is a lesson I'm incredibly happy I learned young. I used to micromanage like a maniac, and I'm so glad I got out of the habit, because letting things come naturally is absolutely part of the creative process. If you start trying too hard, it'll show. If you're writing, you're probably doing it because you enjoy it, so just try and enjoy it.

Also editing exists for a reason. Nothing is gonna be perfect the first time you write it, you control freaks out there  ;)
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Re: Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2018, 05:36:49 AM »
Also editing exists for a reason
true. You can't improve what you don't have, so write/draw away!