Do you remember when you were younger and you found yourself fascinated by various topics and hobbies? For example, at one point, around the age of 10, I decided that I was going to be a photographer for National Geographic and spend weeks taking photos of everything.
I was completely fascinated with capturing images on my camera. Eventually, I lost interest in the pursuit but for a time I was completely absorbed. During that time I was joyful and engaged with the world around me.
You probably have moments like this with your writing. It might happen when you have a new idea for a story or right after you read an amazing book by another author. You’re seized with fascination for your story and might spend days, weeks, or even months devoted to that idea.
What if you could create that feeling of fascination?
Imagine what your writing career and your confidence would look and feel like if you were always fascinated with a writing project?
Personally, there are two things that kill or slowly deteriorate my sense of fascination with a story idea or project. One is time. Over time, the idea slowly fades. I’ve learned that the key to holding onto my passion for a project is to hit it hard and not let too much time pass before I’ve completed the manuscript.
The other thing, and I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, that kills my fascination is difficulty. If a project is too difficult, I lose interest. I’m embarrassed to admit that because part of me still holds onto the idea that I should push through difficulty. That if I give up or lose interest on a project because it’s difficult that I’m weak or lazy.
However, there’s another side to this and that is that if a project is too difficult then maybe it’s wrong. It might be a bad story idea. And why force a bad story idea? There’s really not much to gain by pushing through and writing a bad book, right?
When this happens I have found a balance to assuage my conscience. I put the story aside and focus on a new, and significantly more fascinating, project. Sometimes an idea will come to me to fix the old project and then the fascination reignites.
I think fascination is important because it keeps you passionate and engaged in a story idea.
You’re not worried about your writing skills necessarily but more focused on creating something. This childlike emotion might be the key to being able to always stay focused and excited about your work and less concerned with whether anyone will like your story. Ultimately, I believe that if you are deeply engaged in your writing projects, other people will find value in them too.
A long time ago when I has my momentary fascination with photography, I actually managed to create several noteworthy images. Several were published in newspapers and newsletters. It’s the old “focus on your work and the accolades will follow” approach and I think there’s value to it.