#3 Turn On the Lights

Dear Wizard,

I’m not a one project kind of writer, but lately I feel pulled between my many different projects and ideas. I don’t know where to start first. Do I write the short story? That novel! This or that? I don’t know what the market will prefer. I don’t know what I want to write. I am torn in a hundred different directions. How do I know which project is the right project to support with my time and effort right now? I am afraid to fail. I am afraid to move forward. So, I am stuck and not writing.

I need to write because it’s how I make my living, but I am stuck in the pits of despair. The darkness is overcoming me. How do I find my path again?

Sincerely,
Someone turned out the lights (they/ them)

Hello my dear dear light,

Your problem seems to be bi-fold. Possibly tri-fold. The easiest part of doing magic is this: when someone turns out the lights simply turn them back on. What do I mean when I say this? It could be as simple as lighting a candle. Or you could use one of those new-fangled light bulbs that have been in fashion. Some of my acquaintance prefer a good bonfire. The light is inside of you. It never left you. The thing about light that we wizards never seem to remember is that light casts shadows. So, perhaps the lights are still on and you’re in the shadows of your own doubts.

Turning on the lights helps.

Secondly, you seem to be at a fork in the road. Or you feel that choosing a project to work on is a fork in the road. Many wizards are under the conception that they must work on one spell or grimoire at a time. Personally, I have three or four grimoires going at any one time. And I am currently drafting five spells.

My point is this: I work on my projects in rotation. I do not let one project dominate all my time. Some wizards enjoy having a single project. They thrive on the handiness (and the lightness) that comes with carrying a single Grimoire. However, I am not that wizard. And it sounds to me like you are not that wizard, either.

Thirdly, just work a little bit a day, if you’re stuck. Sometimes being stuck can seem so daunting that even starting becomes a challenge. So, if you’re truly and well stuck, sit down with your Grimoire for five minutes a day. Then in a week or so, increase that to ten minutes a day and so forth until you are at the required speed. (Every wizard is different in how much magic they practice daily).

One final note: please be kind to yourself. This world is full of curmudgeonly wizards and grumpy jerks who want to make sure you have a bad day. Pixie dust and fairy farts on those dark spirits.

Sincerely,
A Wizard