Fix-it and Forget-it

Fix-it and Forget-it does a lot of things right. Did you know the creator of the popular cooking series is "especially concerned for those who don't have enough time to cook, as well as those who lack the confidence to cook."

I was thinking that we as writers fit this category. Subsititute "cooking" for "writing" and the sentence looks like this: "especially concerned for those who don't have enough time to write, as well as those who lack the confidence to write." Pretty fitting.

Fix-it and Forget-it prides itself on the concern it has for those who don't have enough time. Writer's never have enough time. There is always something that comes up to distract us--and we are easily distracted, even by our own thoughts. The other goal, the lacking confidence one, is so valid. We doubt many of the words we write--that's why we do so many revisions and don't tell anyone anything about our projects.

Confidence to writers is a double-edged sword. If you have too much, you aren't as willing to listen to advice. If you don't have enough, you could find yourself face-down in a corner somewhere, your words in shreds on the floor.  Confidence is something every author needs to suceed (whether you are writing book #1 or #101) and it is the first thing to be lost at signs of trouble.

Fix-it and Forget-it is on to something. I'm sure that once Sally (our new pretend friends) cooks a few successful dishes, her confidence increases. Sallyw ill branch out and try new things. If she ruins the dish, then she will probably feel like she will never be able to cook anything, ever. Sally has two choices: eat fast food until she dies OR figure out what she did wrong.  So, Sally will retrace her steps. Maybe she will re-read the ingredients. She can check the timer. She can even just try it all over again. There are many other options but the point is that Sally can figure out what happened--but she has to try.

The same can be applied to writing. If you write a good scene then you are ready to write another one...and another. If you write a bad scene, it's so easy to go to Twitter instead. It's this time when you need to figure out the problem. Maybe your character is off or a motivation is missed. Maybe she the last sentence she said was completely wrong. Maybe he wants to go here instead of here. You can always figure out the problem--but you have to try.  Life is a series of trial and error but eventually, Sally will cook something that tastes good and you will figure out where you need to go next.

If not, maybe you should try the Fix-it and Forget-it method. Get all your ingredients and throw them in the pot. Let them simmer, cook all the way through and then go with it. Don't be afraid to mess up. You can always start again but you can't start again if you never tried.

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