Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Goldilocks Syndrome By Patti Jo Moore

Once upon a time there was a writer. She loved to write, and happily enjoyed exploring life and new adventures with her fictional characters and settings.

When the writer decided to submit her writing, something happened to her. She was filled with doubts. What had once been an exhilarating (at times) writing experience, now became drudgery. She questioned herself as she finished each scene of a story. Had she included enough action in her stories, or were they dull? Was her story too brief, or could she have added more chapters? Had she put in too much description, often reading like “flowery prose” or did she need more description in her scenes, to make them come alive for readers?

These questions bounced around in the writer’s head, zapping all the previous enjoyment out of her writing experience. She began thinking of the well-loved story about a little girl named Goldilocks, who took a lovely walk one day and ended up in the home of a bear family. If you’re familiar with the story, you know that Goldi tried out the family’s chairs, beds, and even their breakfast they’d left cooling on the table while they enjoyed a walk that morning. Our heroine wasn’t satisfied with the original items she tried in the bears’ home. The chairs were either too big or too little, until she sat in one that was just right. The beds were too hard or too soft, until one was just right. The porridge was either too hot or too cold, until one bowl was just right.

As writers, we can easily slip into the Goldilocks Syndrome, trying and trying to get our stories “just right” but in the process never being satisfied, feeling frustrated, and never releasing them. We’ve all heard the advice that at some point, we must let our stories go. Yes, easier said than done. But we don’t want to reach the point where our writing is a headache-inducing chore and we dread our writing time each day. Sure, it’s hard work. Very hard at times. Yet we can still find joy in our writing, and pray that our writing brings joy into our readers’ lives.

If you’ve ever held onto a story for a long, long time, you may have experienced well-meaning family and friends, their surprised faces not unlike the bear family when they discovered Goldilocks asleep in Mama Bear’s bed. They may say something similar to: “You still haven’t finished that story? When will it be ready?” So after we’ve written and rewritten, polished and made our stories the very best they can be, we do need to release them and move on. There are more adventures just waiting to be written, and many happy hours of writing ahead.

Thank you for bearing with me for this post. 😉 Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a bowl of porridge—I mean oatmeal—as I happily contemplate ideas for future stories. 😊

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3

Sadie's Dream

In a coastal Georgia town in 1900, a young woman prepares to serve as a missionary in Africa.

After being jilted the previous year, she's certain she's meant to remain single.

When she meets a handsome businessman from Savannah, she begins struggling with doubts.

Over time she learns that the Lord's plans are best, and dreams really can come true.

Patti Jo Moore is a retired kindergarten teacher and lifelong Georgia girl. She loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed to be published with Forget-Me-Not Romances. When she’s not spending time with her family (including her sweet grandbaby) or writing her “Sweet, Southern Stories” Patti Jo can be found feeding cats—her own six and local strays.

She loves connecting with readers and other writers, and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore or her personal blog at http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com

20 comments:

  1. I pray God will give me words to share that will bring others closer to Him. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a wonderful prayer request, Melissa! I feel sure you touch many with your words.
      Blessings, Patti Jo

      Delete
  2. Hi Patti Jo, sweet friend. That Goldilocks syndrome can be a killer to our stories. I had a few die that death and it's not pretty. I've finally learned to write like nobody will ever read it then send it off to let someone else do all the "making it just right." My editor is wonderful like that. And to read your sweet romance stories no one would ever think you'd experienced any self-doubt. #PattiJoMooreWritesJustRight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Cindy - - bless you, precious friend! Your hashtag gave me a big smile. :) I love what you said about writing like nobody will ever read it - - excellent advice. When I can be in that mindset, I'm more creative!
      Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  3. Patti Jo, your post is exactly what I needed to read today! Yes, I’m Goldilocks searching to make my story “just right.” I won’t tell you how long I’ve been editing my manuscript. I do believe I hold the record for procrastinating because I fear my book isn’t perfect. So I’ll commit to finishing to the best of my ability, then move on to the joy of writing new projects. Thank you, my friend, for the “just right” words of encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet Sherida, I am sooo happy that my post encouraged you. Your commitment to finish your manuscript to the best of your ability and then move on to new projects sounds like the perfect plan! And believe me, I do understand about procrastinating due to fear---I kept re-writing and making changes to my very first story for years, afraid to let go. But once you realize you've done everything you can for that project, then it's exciting to begin new projects! (Yes, it took me a while to learn this, LOL). ;)
      Thanks so much for your kind comments, and I cannot wait to read one of your stories before long!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  4. Great post, Patti Jo! I needed to read this. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words. You're always so sweet!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  5. Love this post, Patti Jo! Yes ... it's tempting to edit and re-edit and then rework twenty more times! But we need to get to a point where we finally send that story out into the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn, Yes, that "reworking our story twenty more times" can drive a writer nuts, LOL! But we never know who just might enjoy (or benefit from) our story once we do send it into the world. :)
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Blessings, Patti Jo

      Delete
  6. Patti Jo, you outdid yourself! I've been editing a manuscript to death. I think maybe it's time I accepted some of those pages the way they are. Hopefully an editor will think they are just right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, thank you, Terri. You're so encouraging! And with your writing talent, I'm sure an editor will think they're just right! :)
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  7. Patti Jo, this is BEAUTIFULLY said! I have a hard time letting go of my stories, always editing them "to death" as Terri said. Thank you for this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharee, You are so sweet! Yes, making ourselves finally stop the editing and letting our stories go can be a real challenge. Thanks so much for stopping by, and congratulations on your writing success! Your Love Inspired Suspense books are amazing! :)
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful post Patti Jo! I'm waving my hand here--definitely have struggled with Goldilocks syndrome! Trying to keep that inner perfectionist under control is a difficult job. Love this---such a great analogy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laurel! SO happy to read your comment, sweet friend. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I have loved all of your Love Inspired books, and look forward to reading many more by you! :)
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  9. atti Jo, thanks for the great simile. Really enjoyed reading this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tanya! Thanks so much for stopping by! I was gone all day visiting my sweet grandbaby, and when I read these comments I smiled. I am SO happy about your Heartwarming stories---your debut novel is wonderful!
      Hugs, Patti Jo :)

      Delete
  10. This is such a GREAT article, Patti Jo!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sooo much!! :)
      I appreciate that you stopped by, and hope you've had a wonderful Valentine's Day!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!