So much information! So many bases to touch, so many qualities must be present in the novel being written! So many people throwing themselves at the literary wall with little hope of returning without a rejection letter.
It is easy to become overwhelmed. Our heroine confesses that she deals with that on a regular basis, dear Reader. Do you? When you feel lost or cornered, there is a way out.
My tool against the overwhelm is focus.
First, I identify my mission, my writing mission for the day. “Flesh out the villain a little more.” A small mission is better than a large one for me. A small mission allows tighter focus.
Then I go away from my writing environment for a while. Nuts? Maybe. I do something for me – a strategic nap, if I’m not too stressed out. A facial. Clean the kitchen. Never fails that I work on my mission at the back of my mind. When I’m ready, I take what I came up with while away and commit it to “paper.”
Finally, having completed my mission, I take a step beyond it. I may be flying on a high of creativity, so I riff on that. I may still be a little overwhelmed. What do I do? Start at step one. Identify my mission, tighten my focus and go from there.
The key, as always, is don’t take it personally. Everyone learning a new skill or being introduced to a new world has doubts from time to time. It’s not just you feeling this way. Only you can get yourself past it, though. Tighten that focus as much as you need, repeat the process as often as necessary, to get everything flowing again.
This is what works for me, but everyone is different. I’d love to hear what’s in your toolbox to battle the natural overwhelm some people experience.