Give Yourself Permission to Just Go For It

Have you ever been scared to take the plunge and just go for it? One of my many journal entries contains some excellent ideas for doing just that.


Blue Lagoon Ecosystems Journal

Excerpted from my lagoon blue “Ecosystems” journal on August 20, 2015.

Having Faith in the Process

I’m taking the day off to write—just write… and maybe read. I’m here at Books-A-Million having just completed my latest blog post at Perk Up [local coffee shop now known as Poet’s South] regarding a personality test I recently took. I was categorized as an INFJ: Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. Read that blog post for more info; I won’t rehash it here.

I just now finished perusing a book on writing—big surprise—called Still Writing by Dani Shapiro. In it, I came across a line I keep running into regarding writing, especially fiction:

Have faith in the process.

- dani shapiro

Variations of this line—sometimes written as “Trust the process” (as in Dean Wesley Smith’s excellent book Writing Into the Dark, [which I posted a review about elsewhere here on the blog]—continue to crop up as I continue my search for answers on how to proceed with new [story] ideas. As such, I’ve decided to commit to “pantsing” my stories, at least in the beginning, just to get moving and get out of my writer’s “limbo.” I can figure out the rest along the way, but I’ll get nowhere by staying on the tracks waiting for the story, plot, outline, etc., to run me over.

[You’ll] get nowhere by staying on the tracks waiting for the story, plot, outline, etc., to run [you] over.

- me

Get a Move On Already

In the INFJ blog post I mentioned earlier, I had an epiphany: Most of my journal entries and blog posts are, in fact, “pantsed.” I [usually] don’t have a complete outline or idea of what to write beforehand; I just go for it. Many other areas of my life, business, etc., have benefitted from this “Just go for it” and “Just do it” approach. Even Tim Ferriss in his book The 4-Hour Workweek says to just start moving; you can correct course along the way.

Another famous quote, yet again included in Still Writing was the line by E.L. Doctorow—also used by Jack Canfield, co-author of the infamous Chicken Soup books—that compares writing to driving a car through fog. (“Fog” was actually the title of the entry in the “Middles” section of Still Writing.) The quote goes something like:

You may not be able to see more than a few feet in front of you, but you can still get to your destination by driving a few feet at a time.

- e.l. doctorow

Go Ahead, Waste Your Words

So who cares if you “waste” words by pantsing rather than during the outlining stage? Like Dean Wesley Smith states in Writing Into the Dark

As long as you are writing new words, none of them are a waste of time!

- dean wesley smith

DWS breaks it down even further in just one word: Practice.

Or another example: In my case, playing scales on a guitar is not “wasted” time—or even “wasted” notes. I’m learning my craft, plain and simple. It’s the same with writing. (And, by the way, at least I’m actually writing instead of merely planning what I’m going to write.)

Even as I write this entry, my subconscious creative juices are flowing, directing me as to what to write next. And you know what? It’s a thrilling process! I can’t for the life of me see why I’ve been so afraid of it.

Actually, I can…

I’ve been listening to the “professionals” instead of discovering my own way!

It’s time to get all this stuff that’s in my head out, no matter how sloppy it may seem. My decision is made.

I’m going for it!

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