Don’t freak out – find your formula

penciltwWriting can seem scary. Sometimes, before I start a project, I’ll have a moment of Oh, God, what am I getting myself into?

You start.

Maybe you stare at the blank page.

Maybe you get up and pace.

Maybe you refill your mug with yet another cup of tea or coffee.

And that’s fine. Take that moment. For a moment.

And then, instead of letting your mind freak out about what you’re getting into – about what you’re going to write – about how you’re going to say what you want to say – find the formula.

Formula. I know. Structure doesn’t seem like fun.

Formula is your foundation. Formula gives you your roadmap.

Your job as a writer? Service the story. Doesn’t matter if it’s a novel, song, poem, whatever. Formulas for each medium are different – but learn them and use them for your medium.

Once you know what you’re writing about – once you’ve got your message, the formula facilitates your message.

So here’s an example. A story. About a dog. Named Buddy. And buddy dug a hole in his backyard, got out under the fence and now wants to get back into his backyard before his owners come home – but now there’s an aggressive cat blocking his spot to get to the other side of the fence. Buddy’s scared of cats. Can Buddy summon his courage to scare the cat so he can get back home in time?

Okay. It’s a story. Original? Not so much. A story? Yes.

Flailing around and freaking out will not get you results.

Once you know where you’re going, your vision is crystal clear.

That’s when the creative muses – or inspiration – or whatever you choose to call it – whisks you away. The pen seems to have a life of its own. Your hands take over the keyboard, processing faster than your brain.

So don’t freak out – find the formula.

And let your magic take over from there.

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