Ideas are alive and constantly changing, like the images inside a kaleidoscope. What seems like the right direction to go in one moment, seems all wrong the next. That new ideas are arising and replacing old ones is not a problem. What is a problem is judging the change, using it as an excuse to doubt yourself, labeling the new idea “self-sabotage,” or feeling like a failure for putting an idea or project on the back burner, or dropping it altogether. These reactions cause far more damage than a new idea ever could.
An idea is purely creative—it's unique, yet builds upon all that’s come before it. Judgments are the opposite—destructive, tearing down what’s been so lovingly built.
However, changing direction because of a new idea isn’t destructive, it’s fine tuning your creative vision. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you find what truly resonates. In the process, you sometimes discover the need or desire to go in a new direction, altogether. The more you trust yourself, and your creativity, the more willing you’ll be to follow wherever your ideas lead. And the more quickly they will lead you home—to the right project, or plot, or point-of view.
No matter how much you outline, or plan, what you’re going to write about, writing is always a leap of faith into the unknown.
When you open your mind and heart, and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) you don’t know what words or ideas are going to come, or even if any are going to come at all. This can be scary or exciting, depending on how much self-confidence, trust, and experience you have.
The more you can embrace this unknowable nature of writing, the easier it will be to write. Planning is good, and even necessary at times. But it doesn’t change that writing is essentially a journey of discovery.