Trying Too Hard Really Kills The Story

Trying Too Hard Really Kills The Story

Don't force yourself to write for the wrong reasons

So here's what's going on:

In April 2016, I wrote a book. I fell in love with this book. Somehow, a half-year's worth of planning fell into perfect sync with my spontaneous Camp NaNoWriMo inspiration, and the book burst forth into 99,000 words of pure beautiful cohesion. My characters were rounded, the plot had a solid arc and I ended it on the most self-serving note of heartbreak and tragedy that I wanted. It was wicked.

The problem is, I loved this book so much that I swore off writing any more of the series. I've been writing these silly little fantasy books on and off since I was 13, so I decided it had to end somewhere, and where better to behead it than the sheer (almost) perfection of this huge novel? It worked... for about a year and a half. Now it's November again, and I've been struck with the oh-so-familiar strain of inspiration for this particular fantasy series. And thanks to everything leading up to this moment, I am now trying way too hard.

In short, the book is pretty close to flopping. I hate when books flop, since it fills me with a feeling of utter failure and causes me to mope around for months afterward. It's basically admitting defeat. Additionally, since this book has so much to live up to in its predecessor, I've been under pressure to make it EXTRA awesome and SUPER well-written and MEGA thrilling.

Geeze. It's like I was trying to doom it from the start.

But as always, I try to give my books an equal chance by admitting my mistakes. I have acknowledged that I'm trying too hard. Instead of trying to amp up the villain's appearance by causing all my main characters to quake in fear, I should actually have something happen. I also must avoid clichés. (This was probably holding me up the longest. I couldn’t quite figure out why this current scene was irking me so much until I realized the classic evil minion was talking as if he stepped straight out of a Disney movie). Basically, I need to stop trying to force this book to live up to its own hype, and I need to let it just be a story. That's one of most important things I try to remember about creativity: it's not about selling things and making money. It's about telling a story.

At least for now, before publishing and marketing. Oh boy am I dreading that someday.

For now, it's up to me to relax and let this story become its own. Forcing it to fit into the mold of another story won't do anyone any good. If I really want it to succeed, I'll stop trying so darn hard. Sometimes that's the only way to get good work done in the first place.

Cover Image Credit: Netaly Reshef

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

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8 Reasons Your Boyfriend's Best Friend's Girl Is Sure To Be Your Best Friend, Too

They grew up together, so chances are their behavior partners are pretty similar.


His best friends girl, but realistically, she is your new best friend.

Between the double dates and sharing hilarious "He did this.." stories, you start to grow an intimate relationship together.

1. Chances Are The Dumb Things He Is Doing, Her Guy Is Doing The Same Thing

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Just like we have similar traits like our best friends, so do guys. Chances are your boy and hers have similar traits. Whether that be the good, the bad or the inside jokes from their high school life that you will never seem to understand. She has your back and can be that person you can rely on to talk to. You both may not be able to understand why your boys do certain things, but at least you have sometime who can understand what you are going through.

2. She Is The Perfect Person To Share A Glass Of Wine, As The Boys Enter Their Fourth Round Of League Of Legends

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When the boys start nerding out for the four hour in a row over their video games, she is your girl to pop open the bottle of whine. You two can catch up on your girl talk and have someone to talk to. Since chances are, neither one of you understand their obsession.

3. She Understands Your Confusion When They Start Talking In Code

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They say girls talk in code...well this whole boy lingo is just as confusing. Between their inside jokes from high school and endless references to some famous night from Junior year, you two can exchange looks of confusion as you try for the hundredth time to understand what they are talking about.

4. She Is Your Bathroom Buddy On Double Dates

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Whether it be a lip gloss exchange, or needing an emergency tampon, she always got your back. Going to our boys homes can always be frustrating when we need a female products but they most likely do not have any in store. With her, you always got a lil extra girl power around you to help you out. As well as, always having someone to disappear to in the bathroom if the boys become too much to handle.

5. A Little Something Called Girl Code

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Boys suck...not always but sometimes, lets be realistic relationships are a hard, hot piece of mess. When things go south you always can turn to her to rant or have someone defend you.

6. She Understands Your Frustration Over The Little Things, Cause Girl Same

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Did he ever....

Yes, girl. Every. Time.

7. She Knows Your Guy Just As Well

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Between the double dates and all the times your boys talk about each other, you start to understand the way each one of them act. You always can talk to each other easily about what they do, because they will start to know them just as well.

8. Two Peas In A Dating Pool

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Just like our boys are two in a pod, changes are they share similar interest in girls. Making his girlfriend your twin and your new partner in crime on your double dates.

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