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It's OK To Change Your Mind

Happy Wednesday once again everyone!
So last Monday, Episode one of Dragon Hearted went out and I just want to say thank you to everyone who signed up to my newsletter list for all your wonderful feedback. Seriously, it means the world to me that you guys enjoyed the first episode so much and I can't wait to share episode 2 with you all next Monday!

For those of you haven't signed up, it's never too late! Every other Monday that I post an episode (and in my first of the month newsletter), I will also put links to the previous episodes in there so anyone who hasn't had the chance can catch up. You'll also get the first episode the instant you sign up for my newsletter (as well as a Cinderella short story retelling).



Alright, one more announcement. C. M. Banschback revealed the cover for her new book Oath of the Outcast! Doesn't it look awesome??
Here's the blurb: 

A lost brother. 
An unwilling outlaw. 
A rising enemy. 
An unusual alliance. 

Years ago, Rhys MacDuffy was brutally cut off from his clan, stripped of his name and inheritance, and banished to the remote Dragon Keep. Perched high above the Shang Pass in the land of Alsaya, he assumed the mantle of the Mountain Baron, serving out his sentence as the overseer of the worst outlaws and outcasts. 

But one day he receives a desperate message from the clan who disowned him: MacDuffy’s Seer—his beloved brother—has been taken by their enemies. 

With his band of Mountain Brigands and an unwelcome sidekick, Rhys leaves his mountain stronghold to find and rescue his brother. The tide of war is rising amongst the Clans of Alsaya, fueled by the magic-wielding sect of Druids who seek to unleash a dark force the world has long forgotten. 

Can the bond of blood run deeper than banishment?

To know more about the book and Claire you can find her on her site HERE and the cover reveal post at crosshair press HERE. :)

So a few weeks ago I discovered Austin Kleon's amazing book Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad. He has two others out too, How to Steal like an Artist and Show Your Work. I've read all of Keep Going and am halfway through Show Your Work and they are amazing! They aren't specifically written for writers, but they are written for creatives and everything he talks about in his books can apply to a writer. The reason I bring this up is because one his chapters hit me hard and made me realize something: it's OK to change my mind. The chapter is fittingly called You Are Allowed To Change Your Mind.

My writing process tends to be a bit sloppy and all over the place. At least, I'm sure that's what it looks like on the outside. I'm always shifting from one project to the next. Sometimes I'm so fired up for one idea and I throw all of myself into it and then a hundred pages in and I realize the idea is going nowhere. There is no plot. Just a half-baked idea that isn't ready to be written yet. So then I shift my focus to a story that I can actually work on. My priorities and which story I'm focused on is always changing and shifting. To me its a natural process. On the inside, my brain is always working. I always have several ideas baking and simmering in the back of my mind. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't. But always, I have to try them out and get at least 30,000 to 50,000 words into them before I'm sure its ready to be written or not. On the outside, however, it looks like I'm flaky and can never stay on one project. At least, that's what it feels like and looks like to me. Why can't I just stick to an idea like everyone else?

That's what happened to me this week. I was stuck and blocked with my NA paranormal fiction WIP so I decided to set it aside and work on something else. That was a few weeks ago. I threw myself into a new idea. A paranormal romance featuring werewolves and a character that's been in my head for years. I thought this is it! I finally cracked her story and I know how to write Cynthia's story now! 30,000 words later and the story hit a dead end. I puzzled over the plot, rehashing and reworking it over and over until I realized the story just isn't ready to write yet. Cynthia's idea is still baking in my brain and one day it'll click, but today is not that day haha So, I set them one aside and went back to my NA WIP to see if I could get any further in that one. And guess what? I did! I just needed those few weeks of a break and to come back with fresh eyes. The whole plot is now figured out and I know exactly what I need to do to fix it.

Because I changed my mind a few weeks ago and put my NA WIP aside, I was able to come back to it with fresh energy and excitement for the story. And it's because I changed my mind about writing Cynthia's story that I was able to come back to my NA WIP in the first place. Half of my writing breakthroughs come from me changing my mind. Heck, in the past few months I've changed my mind about my writing more than I think I ever had before in my life. And all that changing? It's only led to good things.

I just need to share a little of what Kleon says in his book because there's no way I can phrase what I'm trying to get across as well as he did:

"In this country, you're supposed to have your ideas and stick with them and defend them with your life. Take our politics, for example. If a politician changes their mind publicly, it's a sign of weakness. A sign of defeat. And you don't want to change your mind too much, heaven forbid, because then you're wishy-washy. Social media has turned us all into politicians. And brands. Everyone's supposed to be a brand now, and the worst thing in the world is to be off-brand. But to be on brand is to be 100 perfect certain of who you are and what you do, and certainty, in art and in life, is not only completely overrated, it is also a roadblock to discovery." - Keep Going, Austen Kleon

Amen to that! How is anyone supposed to discovery anything if they don't ever change their mind? What's the best part of a story? It's the character's arc, how the character changes through the story. And guess what? We're all living a story and what's the fun in our stories if we don't change and grow too?

I used to think that me changing my mind all the time made me look bad. Made me look like a flake and unreliable and unpredictable. But reading Keep Going made me realize that changing my mind is a natural part of the creative process. It's a human thing to do and that's OK. No ever said I had to make a plan and stick to it 100%. If I were to do that, I would stamp out my creativity and my art. I might as well stop being a writer if I stopped letting myself change my mind and discovery and grow.

So, I've decided to give myself free creative-license to change my mind. And then change my mind again. And again. And again. My writing process doesn't thrive with plans and certainty. My creative process thrives when I give myself the flexibility and permission to shift projects, to change my mind, to challenge myself and grow in the process. That's one of the reasons I love this quote that Kleon also mentioned in his book: "I'm making explorations. I don't know where they're going to take me." - Marshall McLuhan.

It's OK if you want to change your mind. It's OK to switch projects. That's why I love having lots of different things to work on at once. If one isn't working then I can just jump to another one without losing any productivity because I'm still working on a WIP, just a different one than I was before. Don't be afraid to change your mind, to be flexible and challenge yourself.

What do you think of Austin Kleon's words and his idea of being able to change your mind? 

Comments

  1. Wow, great post, Melody! As an indecisive person myself, I really liked this - and actually, I was just thinking of majorly changing my WIP today. (So excellent timing as well!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :) You should totally go for it! I'm glad this post could be encouraging to you. :)

      Delete
  2. I like to stay on one track ... it's good to remind myself that it's ok to change directions occasionally ;)

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Signed up for your newsletter. 😊

    I've honestly never thought much about the points you've made because I'm such a decisive person...but WOW!!! You and Kleon both make some great points!!

    ~ Lily Cat (Boots) | lilycatscountrygirlconfessions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh thank you! ♥

      Haha well this post is brought to you by the most indecisive person in the world XD

      Delete
  4. This is a good points! I'd never thought of it like that. I've had to refocus myself on other projects. Like my poor half finished Black Hood draft, but I need to get more done on the previous draft anyway, so it worked out! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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