New Moon Phase – Setting Your Intent
This is the start of the start. Decide when you’ll finish.
Be realistic. Yes, it might change, but what I’m talking about is the date when you’ll aim to finish your first DECENT draft.
But what if you don’t know? Well, one thing I’ve learned from surfing is, WHERE YOU LOOK IS WHERE YOU GO. Give yourself a target.
If you’re not sure, or you’re new at this, give it a year. If you’ve done this before, you’ll have a good idea of what your work rate is.
Now, previously in my writing life, I fell victim to doubt, and spent a LOOOOOONG time getting a first decent draft done. This wasn’t the case BEFORE I got published , but happened when I decided to write my fourth novel (SUMMER SKIN). Perfectionism got in the way.
But the way I work has changed completely. Also, to be blunt, I give less fuqs. I am setting out to write a story that I badly want to write. Giving myself a target means compression happens — I put myself through a process that steams out fear and doubt and LEAVES THE STORY.
That said, I’m not a maniac. I have to be FEELING the story as a real, live thing on the way through. We’ll talk more about that during our later phases of the moon writing cycle.
Anyway, the point is, make a date with yourself — when in the future do you think you’ll be drinking a nice glass of champagne, patting yourself on the back, having a special treat kind of dinner, feeling proud of yourself, be imminently changed for the better because you’ve honoured your story?
Now back that up by solidifying your commitment
To the story itself.
Go back over everything you have written down about the idea, and why it should become a story, and COMMIT.
I don’t know how to articulate this moment in words very well, but I have definitely FELT it as a writer.
It’s the moment when you accept that the bloody story is bloody hard and you don’t bloody know how you are going to bloody do it but you decide to bloody do it anyway. Because it bloody matters.
To quote the childhood song:
We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh, no! We’ll have to go through it.Michael Rosen, “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”
Is that realistic?
Maybe not. We don’t even know what our story is yet — not really.
But we’ve thought about why we should do it.
We are arming ourselves against doubt.
Changing your deadline is one thing, and it’s quite okay in the scheme of things. Stopping a story because fear and doubt have seeped in, is a crying shame.
Forewarned is forearmed. We are building a blockade of belief that will help us in the rest of the cycle.