1) Instead of being embarrassed by my various random, messy ways of pseudo organizing characters, plot lines, and ideas, I decided to accept this chaotic mix as My Method. It’s amazing what capital letters will do to validate one’s habits. Sometimes I start a wall chart (hidden on the wall of my closet) with post-its, sometimes I use my notebook, sometimes I outline on the computer: instead of letting this make me feel unprofessional and uncommitted to a method, I recognized that this mélange of simultaneous avenues works for me.
2) I truly internalized the advice that is given most famously in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and again in an essay by Ann Patchett (and by countless other writers): I can only write one sentence at a time. I cannot worry about the entire book all the time. That’s what editing is for. I need to have faith that (temporary) myopia is the only way to get a book written. This involves a certain amount of blind faith in one’s abilities.
3) I considered changing my name to Ann(e) to ensure literary success (see number 2, above).