I’m officially declaring this Gut Week on the blog. Gut gut gut.
On Monday we talked about how impatience gets in the way of the gut, and on Tuesday… uh.. nevermind, Tuesday doesn’t apply, but then yesterday the dominant response to the “how do you know when to listen to your beta readers” was: the gut.
Clearly instincts are absolutely imperative for writers. Good ones will take you all the way to publication and a supplementary income to your day job, bad ones will lead you to write a 1,000 page stream of consciousness memoir written in the second person.
But there’s much more to the story than just instincts, because instincts do not just consistently make themselves known in big bold letters. Instead, instincts are a bit like sails on a boat, ready to be blown about by the winds.
The gut is very impressionable! These are but some of the gut busters that can lead a gut to make very bad decisions indeed:
– reluctance to kill darlings
– irrational exuberance
– outside pressure
– delusions of grandeur
The only way to make a gut decision is with a clear head. So before you decide your gut is telling you to just hit send on a 4,000 word query, you might first run a system scan on the gut to see if any these qualities are interfering. And this is just a partial list! Please add your own gut busters in the comments section.
Ultimately: be honest with yourself! A good gut is a terrible thing to waste.