The Things in My Head

First off, a huge thank you to NadyaToddMediciiMusefully MendaciloquentChaos, Cats and Chronic PainAmerican Writers ExposedA Cup of English TeaRickhitchTastehitchCholontics Writerly Musings, and KnightHearth for responding for my call for help about my query. I really appreciate the time and thoughts you guys offered, and my query is definitely better because of it. You all rock.


Writing this week has all been in my head. The vivid transgressions of my characters are all seeking to come out, but between a weirdly busy week (and probably a bit of laziness) it hasn’t made itself to the digital form of paper yet.

And, of course, my brain is working 4 books ahead of where I should actually be writing. This story has been in my head so long that the details further down the line are being worked out instead of writing the “current events” of now. I have a serious case of time-jumping as I flip flop back and forth between getting out voices in my head currently and returning to writing linearly.

The story has changed and evolved so much the past few… well, years really. Since I don’t have deadlines pressuring me as a not-yet professional author, and since I had been in college until recently, it’s taken a long time to get my current novel actually solidified on paper. The difference between the story at inception and until now is pretty stark, and it’s very interesting. It makes me wonder about how different published novels could be. I would assume that veteran authors would know how to make the story it’s most “mature” (for lack of a better work) on the first try (this is including drafts and such), but this would seem to be a skill crafted over years of work. Looking at the evolution of just my story just over the past few years for reference, how many other authors have failed to publish their works as the best they can be?

After all, I can only assume that I will continue to improve as a writer as time goes on and I continue to write. It makes me wonder if I should continue to wait to publish my novel – it would be even better a few years down the road, right? What if my skills right now can’t make the story the best it can be? What if I should wait and give the story the author it deserves?

This is also a rabbit hole with no bottom, and gives to the temptation to just delay taking action forever. I know that I’ve improved as an writer – the difference between my first novel and second proves this (I think) – and what I write is the accumulation of skills and experiences up until now. As long as I work hard, that is my best, and I will be giving my stories their due justice. I’d like to think that each novel teaches it’s own lessons and skills on the path of any writer. And I’ll continue to improve, my skills leaving the last story behind.

So, in the long run, in ten years when we’re all famous published authors – are our stories a stepping stone for the next one? Or are they something else?

(Now, must go to work writing and stop procrastinating)

About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. Taking interesting concepts and dropping complex characters into fantastical worlds is my jam. I also raise dairy goats and herd cats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

4 responses to “The Things in My Head

  • Lady Earlene

    Oh that Rabbit hole! Thank you for writing this! It is so easy to think we are alone in that struggle.
    Procrastination, second-guesses, rewriting for perfection…the list goes on but you are so right, in the end we have to take action in order to improve.
    I like to think of those first novels as stepping stones. We hop steadily across a fast moving current heading toward our goal of that dry shore. In other words, we use each completed novel as a platform to reach our next level of skill heading toward our magnum opus. =)

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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