You’ve heard it a million times: “There is no right way to …”. In my case, it’s “there is no right way to write a book”. However, as Gretchen Rubin says, the opposite of a great truth is also true meaning “there is no wrong way to write a book”. In one way, this is the greatest freedom. There is NO wrong way. Every way is equally available to you. However, there is a dark side to this freedom many of us find as we start our first or thousandth slog through the mire of writing: there are too many possible paths.
I personally have written a baker’s dozen of books in my lifetime and don’t have anything that remotely resembles a process for doing so. Normally, I just sit down and write; however, the problem with this is I often end up writing things no one wants to read. I find the stories fascinating, but they don’t meet enough genre conventions to make them palatable to the general public. For that reason, I’ve been exploring ways to hit more of those supposed high notes required for commercial success and finding the freedom of choice is also the cage of analysis. I’ve read a hundred or more books on the subject of how to write a book. I’ve enjoyed them. They make me feel as if I know something. Then I sit down in front of the keyboard and cannot make any of those directions work the way I want. I force myself in the box of the current system and realize I don’t fit. I suppose that means I haven’t found the right way which works for me. Yet when you have so many boxes it becomes daunting to try them all on for size.
Am I alone?
Maybe there is a right way and I simply haven’t found it yet. Weigh in. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.