Case Study: Problem Solving Worksheet


Hi, guys! Today I’m going to share an example of how I used yesterday’s problem solving worksheet to help me work through something.  I tend to over-think things and get overwhelmed, so this process helps me a lot by breaking things down into smaller pieces and forcing me to use my logic instead of becoming distraught.

What is the problem?


I’m trying to write a blog series about One Path, but I feel overwhelmed because every time I sit down to do it, I have so many ideas and I start thinking up all the stuff I want to say but I don’t know how much of it would matter to anyone but me.

What is your overall goal?


To write a 26-week blog series about One Path for Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom.

What is worrying you?


I start out just feeling like I don’t know where to start. One Path is so complicated in terms of how it affected me and how it relates to like EVERYTHING I write now, but it was also a 600,000 word work and there’s SO MUCH to talk about in terms of storytelling and points of divergence and things I would do differently now.


Then, I question myself and wonder if I’m going to spend a huge amount of time and energy trying to write the thing only to discover that it’s self-indulgent and nobody else is going to care since it was a pet project, and I probably think it’s more important than anybody else would, so I’ll have wasted everyone’s time. I wonder if I really want to spend ALLLLLLLLL that time, or if it’s a good idea to launch into another long-term project on the blog, because I tried that a few times, and then I lost my voice.


What is standing in your way?


My own overthinking and fear of starting something that I can’t finish.

What is the worst that could happen?


I get part way in and discover that it’s not working or not resonating with the audience and I’ve wasted a ton of time.

What is the best that could happen?


I’ll finish it, and it will be awesome, and it will help someone in some way.

Why do you want this goal?


One Path changed everything in my life, and it made me a better writer than I could’ve been any other way. That’s important, and I want to talk about it. I also want to analyze the characters and how they relate to their canned counterparts, but I’m not sure if that part is worth doing on the blog because it’s one of these nerdy things I like to do that I’m probably much more fascinated with than anyone else would be

What options do you have?


I can forget the whole thing

I can make a list of topics and stream of consciousness them for a while and see if anything will click as  blog post material.

I can try to organize it by sticking to writing craft related stuff, but I don’t want to and have a feeling that it would turn out to have the character analysis anyway.

What have you tried?

I did one freewrite a while back.  Otherwise just a lot of freaking out and getting overwhelmed.  Today I wrote a bunch of blog posts about how to organize ideas and not freak out.  Then I procrastinated by looking up stuff about procrastination so I could find some article I read 5 years ago.  (Couldn’t find it, wrote my own.)  Then I paid my student loan and my phone bill.  FML.

What is your plan?

I guess the stream of consciousness method, which is what I DECIDED a month ago prior to this freak-out.  But I keep freaking out about the time/energy “What if it doesn’t work?” part.

If you’re setting goals that let you slide through without progress, you’re not helping yourself.


Once I finished the question worksheet that I shared in my last post, I spent some time mulling over my answers and how I could change my situation.  I’ll be sharing that tomorrow.

Remember, if you would like these questions in downloadable format, click here to sign up for my exclusive resource library.