When you have an ailment that you’re unsure about, what do you usually do?
Go to the doctor? Hell no. Who are you kidding? You WebMD your symptoms and you know it. Don’t worry, that’s what we all do. And by the end of it, you’re convinced you’re dying.
Well I have some good news and some bad news. I WebMD’ed our writing problem and it doesn’t look good. We’re sick. We’re really sick.
The bad news: We have a tumor.
The good news: It’s operable, but you have to perform your own surgery.
Don’t believe me? Read the WebMD report for yourself.
WebMD Search: Can’t seem to start writing my book idea down on paper.
- Project avoidance
- Crossed eyes
- Job dissatisfaction
- Life goal resentment
- Word Doc-aphobia
- Social media/Internet surfing to avoid writing
- Convincing ones self that ALL necessary information has yet to be obtained
- Fear of failure
- Inferiority complex
- Artistic jealousy
Development of a creative tumor is most common amongst writers, painters, architects and other breeds of artists. Tumor growth can occur at any stage in the creative process and is irritated by extended avoidance of key projects. Creative tumors often restrain success as they hold captive all great ideas and stunt the growth of new ones
Open laptop and begin writing your book/short story/screenplay immediately. Tumor will remove itself within 1,000 words.
Survival rate is 100%. To avoid relapse, continue writing and don’t stop.
***If unable to self-treat, please email me for harsh (but helpful) kick in the ass.
Creative Tumor Survivor
I’m pleased to announce that I am officially, creative tumor-free. I have been holding a YA book idea in my head for a WHOPPING four years and this week, I liberated it.
I liberated myself, in truth.
This idea has been sitting in my brain, teasing me, torturing me, yelling at me for way too long. Before Monday, my creative tumor had reached National Geographic status – like the kind that grow teeth and hair and keep you from being able to walk properly. It was that bad.
Within the first day of committing myself to penning this idea though, I began to feel massive waves of relief wash over me. All the reasons I had for not writing, all the fear and doubt that shrouded the whimsical imaginings in my head vanished.
And something even more amazing happened.
The idea I had been housing in my brain for years… got better.
Within my first 500 words I felt my half-hatched idea blossoming into an intricate web of characters, plot lines and dialogue. I accomplished more in 30-minutes of writing than I did in FOUR (FREAKIN’) YEARS of thinking.
Here’s what I accomplished just thinking about my book:
- One main character
- Main character’s love interest
- A moderately realized supernatural ability that the main character possessed (This was the one guiding force of my plot and it was weak sauce.)
- A cliché two boys, one girl love triangle scenario
- Skimming a $50 book on a town I thought could serve as the setting
Here’s what I have achieved two days into writing my book:
- Six strong characters
- An outline that will help carry me to (at least) the midpoint of my book
- A palpable plot
- Two developing subplots
- A setting/town of my own creation
- Chapter 1 completed
- Focused definition and exploration of the main character’s supernatural abilities
- Scrapped a bad idea about adding a historical fiction element
- Dodged the YA, Twilight-esque cliché of having one girl in love with two dudes
Pretty dramatic difference right?
These lists don’t even begin to cover what I truly gained by getting started on this project.
The worst part about housing an idea in your head is the stifling feeling of failure.
An idea can never be anything more than what it is: a confined thought.
It can never be a masterpiece. It can never be held in your hands. It can never be admired by others.
It is nothing.
And because it is nothing, you feel like you’ve failed. And the more you feel you’ve failed, the less appealing the idea becomes.
You start to compare your intangible idea to the fully developed creation of someone else and convince yourself that your idea could never be as good as that person’s real work.
And you’re right. Your idea can’t ever be that good, as long it remains in your head.
Give yourself the sweet release of getting it out of your brain! Remove your creative tumor and put it down on paper. See the potential that lies in your inkling by giving it a physical existence.
I cannot stress enough what an amazing impact it has had on me and I just want you to give it a try. Even if you only spend 15 minutes and all you accomplish is the first paragraph or an outline or a character description that is a huge stride. Breathe life into your thoughts and see what happens.
A neglected tumor is only ever going to get worse. The complications increase, the pain grows and before you know it, your tumor is the only thing have to hold onto. Don’t let your creative tumor rule your life and the fate of your dreams.
What is your creative tumor?