This past week I heard an author refer to her books as her babies and it got me thinking.  For years I worked on my book baby; I brainstormed, did character sketches, daydreamed, built it up, put it on a pedestal, and made it a monster undertaking.

You’ve never heard of Magic & the Machine but it was meant to be my fantasy debut novel.  It has magic, mechs, a new fae-like race, romance, action, and adventure.  I originally began development of the project in high school and had no idea what I was doing.

I hyped the novel in my own mind so much that when I sat down to write it, I worried I wouldn’t do it justice.  So I didn’t write it, I kept daydreaming.  I had to get it right the first time, right?  I mean, the Greats knocked it out of the park their first try, right?  Uh, no.  I still had no idea what I was doing.

Finally, in 2007 I decided to buckle down and write it during NaNoWriMo.  After my first win the previous year, I thought I’d write this epic fantasy that would enthrall readers for generations.  What I ended up with was 50k words of crap.  Seriously, it’s crap.  But it was a learning experience.

I finally got over my hang up that it had to be perfect and I got my ideas on paper.  My book baby was no longer this idealized monster in my head, it was an imperfect rough draft on paper.  It’s something I can work with in the future, if I so chose.

My book baby was my biggest obstacle.  The dream was so big and so hyped in my mind that I balked at making it happen.  Holding a project, from writing a book to sewing a dress, so near and dear to your heart to the point you can’t even start is a problem.  You can’t finish if you can’t begin, it’s that simple.

Are you held hostage by the pursuit of perfection that you can’t even start your project baby?

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