Asked • 06/25/19

Overcoming "Possibility Paralysis"?

I don't often experience writer's block these days. Instead I struggle with a different sort of impediment in my writing: I call it Possibility Paralysis.I have to quickly acknowledge that this is not strictly a writing issue but more of a personality or character flaw of mine. For instance (pardon the cliche) I still don't know what I want to be I grow up.But my writing process suffers dearly for it. I have so many stories I want to tell, so many perspectives I'd like to tell them from, that I find I scarcely settle myself on one plot, thread or idea before another, sometimes completely contradictory one pops up, screaming for attention.I suppose the root of all this indecision is likely fear -- the fear of going the "wrong" way, and being unable to back out again. The fear of sticking with it -- of determining that I will slog down the chosen path no matter what, even if another, totally amazing idea comes along. Even if the idea I've chosen leads me down a road to flavorless characters or a hopelessly broken plot. Even if it "ruins" the work, and I never get to tell the story I really *wanted* to tell in the first place, because it's not engaging enough for anyone to want to read it.That said, there is also a sense of wanting to "slow" the creative funnel at the broad end, and let only the useful ideas filter through. It's sort of like a firehose some days, and I just can't deal with the scattered volume. I need *focus*.Has anyone else dealt with this? How do I break out of the endless cycles of false starts and self-doubt of possibility paralysis? How do I 'slow the flow' and focus on the ideas that matter?

1 Expert Answer

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Amarissa O. answered • 06/27/19

Supportive and Relational Outlook on Tutoring

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