I sat down this afternoon to start actually writing a project I’ve planned for some time. Anybody want to guess how far in I got?
I wrote ninety words before the inner critic reared its ugly head. I could tell you anything you want to know about my reasons for writing the book, why I believe it has to be out there, why I believe(d) I am the one to write it.
Sitting down to start is an entirely different thing. I have written an introduction, which has given me a rough idea of the form of the rest of the book, but suddenly I am finding myself adrift in a sea of questions.
It’s not as though I’m new to the subject I’m covering. Over the last seven years, I have had extensive experience in the field. I’ve had enough experience to pretty much be able to say ‘You name it, I’ve read it’ with regard to the classics of bereavement literature.
However, this time I am not writing my experience. I am seeking to write to help other people, and I think that’s where the problem lies. I know what I would have wanted, and still want, at each stage of this journey. I’m not sure what you want, or what anybody else wants. That makes me fearful, because I don’t know whether I’m fulfilling a genuine need with this project, or just my need.
My passion for this project is fuelled by the fact that I know what ‘good’ grief support means to me, and I like to see it done well. The ‘problem’ is that I don’t know quite how to do it well. The concept of what I hope to create is simple, but challenging in the execution. Between the dream and the book, there is a gulf.
It remains to be seen whether personal experience will see me through this project. I hope so.
How do you avoid getting bogged down in the process? Let me know in the comments.