I am training for my first half-marathon (the official training plan start is today). I am a bit nervous about the race, but only a bit. After all, I have trained for races before and I have a training plan to guide me. After years of competitive swimming (ages 8-17) and a few years of running behind me, I know I can do this.
Thinking about my running has me wondering what’s different about my running? Because while I’m confident I will conquer my first half-marathon (and the one I signed up for later in the year as well), I am NOT confident about my ability to write at the moment. I hoped to have something to pitch at Midwest Writers this summer but I don’t think that’s going to happen after all. I’ve been feeling blocked for some time now. I’ve finally got an idea for something to work on but my inner-editor is trying hard to shut me down. She wants to find plot holes, character flaws, and other reasons why this idea won’t work. I think it boils down to fear, pure and simple. I had another idea I was working on shot down by other people and it’s been hard going to bounce back from that.
What I need to do right now is pick a “training plan” for my writing and let it guide me. I have a few to choose from. There’s the NaNoWriMo method of no plot, no problem; there’s the inverted pyramid method Jess Lourey shared with us at last year’s MWW; there’s a weekend novelist idea. I need to pick one and run with it, see where it takes me. But most of all, I have to trust that, like the running, I can do this. I can get past the block and start creating again.