Day Two: Willpower or Discipline?

Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert from Se. 1, Ep. 12 of the podcast Magic Lessons

So now… I have to write a second post for this silly little project I started. And already I’m like, “WHAT AM I GONNA WRITE ABOUT!?!?” Because this science fiction story is in its infancy, I’m still excited, so my excitement is outweighing my fear. However, very soon… the dread will come. The thoughts of, “Is this really going anywhere?” or “I’m too busy,” or “This was a stupid idea from the start.”

I don’t plan on writing a little opinion piece for every part of this story, but I kind of feel like writing some thoughts about the second passage, which will be coming later today. For me, the second day is not necessarily the hardest. The third day is usually the hardest for me, and every day after that! But for each day that I plan to write, I will try to remember this quote that I paraphrased from a conversation between Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert on the podcast Magic Lessons.

“Day two doesn’t stop because of willpower or discipline. Day two stops because of shame. The only thing that’s going to get you back to work on day two is if you forgive yourself for how bad your work was on day one. And the antidote to shame is not discipline. It’s empathy.”

I don’t see any obvious grammatical errors in the first passage of Mercury, but please let me know if there are any! I do see some story elements that I have no clue where they will be going (pretty much everything I’ve included). I don’t think I’m going to outline this story because I do want it to have that element of spontaneity, but I will definitely be taking mental and physical notes of where I plan to go. However, as the story becomes more complex, I might try to outline a little bit so that it has some direction. The bottom line is that I still have no clue what I’m doing.

That is where my fear or shame is coming from right now. I don’t necessarily think that the first passage is bad, but it’s underdeveloped. This story hasn’t even hatched yet. It’s still a collection of cells in the egg undergoing countless variations of mitosis, and I was rash enough to bring it out into this world before it was ready to walk, talk and live! I’m awful!

And now I need to take a trip back to reality. My story is not an actual underdeveloped fetus in an egg. It is a story that I’m literally just pulling out of my ass, which is where all good stories come from. While I appreciate supportive thoughts from fellow writers and readers, every artist needs to be able to show themselves empathy, and that’s what I’m trying to do for myself right now…

It’s only a story. No one is going to die. Well, maybe one of your characters, but not until like midway through the book, and it’s still just a made-up person, so it doesn’t matter if they’re going to die or not. The imperfections and underdeveloped story elements are there, but you have the opportunity to mold and shape them in your next passage. And if you were doing a second draft, then you’d also be able to mold and shape them through the revision process, but that ain’t happening!

So… blue trees. How am I going to explain why the trees are blue? Ummm, maybe I’ll save that for the thirty-fifth post.



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