Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Bitter Truth: Time is a tyrant

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Mar• 25•16

Bitter FaceWriting and finishing your short story/novel/memoir will likely take longer than you planned. Anyone who has every hired a contractor to remodel their kitchen or bathroom knows this. Things just can and do go wrong. The factory doesn’t have the right tile in stock. The electrician never shows up. Meanwhile, you’re cooking on your camping stove on the patio and winter is coming….

Most people underestimate how long tasks and projects take to complete. This phenomenon even has a name: planning fallacy. ¬†And you know what’s weird, we keep making this mistake over and over because it’s simply difficult to predict all the problems that might occur.

Back to writing. Raise your hand it if this happens to you: You’re bitter face 2trying to tell a story that’s above your skill set.

You were way too optimistic when you started out, before you ran into snags and potholes. I mean plotholes.

You procrastinate.

You spent too much time researching.

While fixing your second draft you realize you’ve drifted too far from your theme or the whole shebang needs a major rewrite.

Your beta readers are asking you some hard-to-answer questions about your ending.

Your characters have proven to have a mind of their own.

Real-life events, health problems, and tragedies intervene.

You’re a perfectionist. So is your editor.

Once you’ve gotten a few completed books under your belt it’s easier to predict the amount of time required to reach The End. Meanwhile, carve out time, fix what can be fixed, and no, it cannot all be fixed.

Keep writing, keep dreaming, have heart

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