How do you know when you know enough? In reality, there’s no way of knowing. What I can tell you, however, is that unless you produce something, you’ll never know. All the learning in the world isn’t going to write that book!
July 19, 2021
I’ve been actively learning about writing since 2008. In truth, I’ve probably been studying all of my life without realising it. I’m going to date myself here, but when I was a child, we used to go to the video rental store to pick up a video to watch. I would watch it with my parents and then watch it two or three times more on my own. I have always loved stories and have been voraciously consuming everything I could for my entire life.
Another example would be when my wife was studying and would go away for the weekend for school, I would walk home from work via the rental store (it was DVDs by this time), rent as many horror movies as they would let me and go home for a marathon viewing session. I often wouldn’t sleep on these weekends as it was a chance to catch up on all the horror movies that I can’t watch normally because my wife hates horror movies.
So, whether consciously or subconsciously, I’ve been studying for a long time. In just the last four years, I’ve probably listened to thousands of hours of podcasts about writing. There have been ones about story structure, editing, marketing, world-building, self-publishing, etc. I tried to find out the exact number of hours I’ve spent listening, but the app doesn’t track them, unfortunately.
Anyhow, let’s get to the point! I was listening to yet another podcast and the host said something that caught my attention. Basically, she pointed out that you can study and study and study, but if you don’t take the test, you’ll never know how far you’ve come. For this instance, the test is publishing a book. Since then, I have switched from the podcast app to the music app for my walks with Gus and it’s been incredible.
My main focus now is working through the roadblocks for my supernatural rom-com. That’s the one I started for NaNoWriMo last November. By the end of the month, I’d written over fifty-thousand words, but then I stopped to return my focus to the unfortunate Black Death trilogy. Now, that I’m not doing that anymore, I’ve been trying to work out how to write the third act. I knew roughly what I wanted to happen, but didn’t have the details and since I hadn’t looked at it in over six months, there was some work to do.
Every time I went out for a walk with Gus, and we’re averaging ten kilometres a day at the moment, I would put on my anime music playlist and ask myself a question. From there I would walk and think, bouncing from idea to idea. Well, this one time the answer appeared out of nowhere. It was brilliant. I actually got chills thinking about it, and it’s over thirty degrees Celsius here at the moment.
As I continued to walk and think, I started to work out how I would foreshadow this amazing idea. Here’s the truly amazing part. I already had! It would appear that my subconscious was aware of this idea and had put all the clues in place ahead of time. Then, it sat back and waited for my consciousness to catch up. What a tease!
This is where my drive to work ahead of myself for my blogging is going to pay off. I recently started my coverage of Jujutsu Kaisen, however, I finished watching and scheduling the posts the weekend before. I’ve also finished the posts for season one of Otherside Picnic and Heaven’s Lost Property. Basically, I have the next six weeks where all I need to do is write my weekly updates. Hopefully, this means I will have lots of wonderful news to tell you all about.
Obviously, my goal will be to keep my future posts ticking over, although they won’t need to be quite as intensive. Still, I have bought myself a lot of time and worked through the blockage in my plot. This all sounds like a win to me. All that planning and preparing is about to pay off. I’ve put a hold on further learning until I have completed this project.
Basically, if I want to make a real career out of this I have to produce. That’s the bottom line. I could spend the next fifteen years learning more and more, but I wouldn’t be any further than I am right now. Sure, I’d know more theoretically, but where would that get me?
So, all that’s left for me to do now is write. Wish me luck! Thanks for reading and stay safe.