Don’t Get Stuck in the Planning Phase

Now that we’ve talked about how important the planning phase is, lets talk about stopping.

Have you ever reached the moment where you’ve got pages and pages of notes, organized or not, but you’ve got the story down. You know where it’s going. But you just keep planning? Planning tiny details. Naming special flowers for your world, adding intricate backstories that will never be seen, tweaking and tweaking because it’s not quite perfect?That would probably mean you’ve reached the point where you should stop planning. I mean, don’t stop forever, You’ve still got side characters to name and logistics to figure out for certain scenes. But man, you’re ready to start writing. And you need to start writing or you never will.

It can be easy to get stuck in the planning phase. The planning phase is safe. It’s flexible, you can change things with ease, you can work on tidbits that aren’t important or stressful at all. And the thought of actually writing it can be scary. What if you mess it up? It’s so perfect as just an idea. What if it’s not ready? What if you’re not ready?

A picture of Margaret Atwood with the quote, "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word."

You cannot wait for perfection, you cannot wait until your ready because, chances are, you never will be. The planning phase is simply there to make the writing phase easier and more organized. But if you never leave the planning phase, then it was completely useless. It’s still just an idea until you write it.

Who is to say when you should stop planning? I can’t tell you. But I can tell you that lingering in the planning phase longer than necessary isn’t going to help you. The only way to truly move forward is to get words on paper. If it doesn’t live up to your vision, you can edit it later. But you can’t edit it if there’s nothing there.
So stop procrastinating and WRITE ON!

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