Just recently, I was talking with a friend about a writing project. She was pondering which of two pieces to submit at an event. At one point she said, “Well, I think I’ll just go with my gut on this.”
My friend’s comment made me think about my own YA novel and how many decisions I’m facing about what changes to make as I pull together a polished draft for submission. It’s easy to get confused or to fall back on other people’s advice about what to do — especially about my first chapter, which has been very challenging to write. But in the end, I’m going to have to trust myself and my own insights into the story and characters I’ve created.
I often think of J.K. Rowling, back before she became a huge success with her first Harry Potter novel. On her Web site, she talks about the many different versions of Chapter 1 of her first book she considered. Some were really action-packed and plunged the reader right into the story. But in the end, she decided to begin Harry’s story in a quiet way on an ordinary street where extraordinary things began happening.
J.K. Rowling trusted herself as well as her story-telling abilities. And it seems to me that we need to do this as well. We need to trust that if we give our best to the page, then it will shine through. And if we make the best possible decisions for our story and our characters, then they will flourish.
How about you? Are there decisions about a writing project you’re working on that will benefit from a trusting approach on your part?