Yesterday, I was supposed to be working on Chapter 4 of my dissertation, which is the section where I present the results from my study. I went to school and set up my laptop and notes on a table in the library since my classroom has been emptied for summer cleaning. I started to work, but occasionally was distracted by the shelves of books that surrounded me. I really had to force myself to stay in my chair and not to start browsing the shelves!
As I sat there, contemplating all of the wonderful books that surrounded me, I got this idea for a story about a girl and her school library. I opened a new file on my computer and started to record the ideas. I quickly filled up two pages of notes that were more of a stream of consciousness as ideas came to me. My fingers flew across the keyboard and I could visualize events in this story. When my ideas began to slow down, I saved my file and returned to Chapter 4, although every once in a while, I thought of something new to add to my story idea. Periodically, I added those ideas to the story’s file before continuing on with Chapter 4. I was so excited because I could work on this idea while participating in Teachers Write this summer.
Late last night, after I had exhausted my work on Chapter 4, I returned to my story idea and continued to fill pages with ideas and questions that I needed to ask myself about the different elements of the story. I worked until about midnight, when I finally closed my laptop and went to bed.
This morning, however, in the light of the day, when I reopened the file with my story ideas, I began to doubt my idea. I began to over think my idea. I began to question what I was thinking because there were so many holes in this idea that I would never be able to address. What seemed magical yesterday didn’t seem quite so wonderful this morning. I began to doubt my ideas and wondered if I should just dump the file in the computer’s trash can. Then I reminded myself that this is just a part of the process. Not all ideas will be perfect and I can’t give up when the writing process gets tough. I need to give the story a chance. As I flesh out my ideas, some will be good, but others may need to be dumped. I need to get all of my ideas down on paper first. I can’t let doubts rob me of the enthusiasm that I felt yesterday. Those writing gremlins will strike and try to convince me that my ideas aren’t good, but I cannot give into them. I need to continue to give life to this story and see where it goes. I have to give my story a chance.