I’ve been feeling a bit off lately and I’m thinking if I can verbalize it here, it might help me sort it out – or at least get it out so it’s no longer going around and around in my head. Maybe I can also find some valuable insight from someone commenting because that’s happened in places I’ve least expected it and I am more grateful than I can say.
When I first started this blog, it was in an effort to write. My original goal was to write one blog post a week because I have a project that is forefront in my mind and my biggest reason for doing all of this, and I wanted to devote most of my time to it. I had certain fears when I started – will people like what I write, am I good enough – that, while mostly under control, still haunt me. I suspect they will always haunt me to a certain degree, but the fears I had a few months ago have changed and morphed because I now have more information and where my project used to be this shining beacon on the horizon glimmering its beauty into my soul, it is now a black hole of “how the hell do I do this thing!”
I have so many questions!
I have never pursued writing. I didn’t go to college (well, I did, but it was only a semester and I didn’t have a major so does it really count?). I wrote pretty well in high school but it was never something I thought was “that thing I do”. Needless to say, I’m feeling a bit behind the game. I was dead set on writing at least 300 words a day on my project two months ago. That was the goal to just get me started. About a week into it, I realized I didn’t have the first clue about writing an actual novel. Character development? What’s that? Oh, you mean we need to know who these characters are? Their back stories? If that’s the case, how important are character sheets and do authors use them?
Then there were the gaping holes in my story. I have an idea with about three different events/plot points and I thought I knew the conclusion. Those things have been set since I first thought about writing this thing, but when I started really working on it, it started to change. How do you drive a story and take it from point A to point Z? I had no idea what the in-between times looked like and it scared me so I started rethinking everything and then I just stopped altogether. I think the idea is back on track and I have more going on now than I did when I first started, but I feel like I have more questions than answers. Does everyone feel this much in the dark about writing or is it just my lack of experience? But then I ask, how do you get experience if not by trial and error?
The other question that loomed its ugly head was how to store all these words once they are written. This one might just be one of those questions that is stalling the process when it doesn’t need to, but I honestly don’t know. I had a family member recommend Scrivner and I looked at it, but I feel so overwhelmed by everything. I mean, I’m using Microsoft Word, but how do you share a document with 90,000+ words? Do you save them by chapters and have multiple documents? Perhaps it’s silly to focus on something as simple as storage, but the thought won’t leave me alone!
I have everyone (really it’s like the two people closest to me who got me into this in the first place) saying I need to work on my project because I have “it” (whatever that is) and all the stories are just getting me away from writing it. Which, in some ways is true, but in others its not.
The stories have given me so much insight into myself, into the way I write and most importantly, they have given me confidence. I honestly believed two months ago that I wasn’t creative, that all I had was this one story and once it was written I should pack it in and go back to whatever it is I do that isn’t writing or being a Mom. Writing these stories, stepping out of my comfort zone and just doing it, has helped me so much and I know my project will be better for it in the long run. But right now, I feel stuck not just in the project, but in writing even flash fiction. (Or maybe it’s just that one that Chuck posted on Friday that I have zero interest in writing and I should just give a bow and say thank you but no thank you, I will wait for the next one…) In some ways I feel like if I’m not working on my project, at least I’m writing these short stories, but if I can’t even do that? Then what do I have?
In between all the angst (if that’s what this is), I’m just feeling a bit green, a bit new to the game. I suppose we all have the newbie jitters when we first start down an uncharted path and that’s all this really is. Sometimes, just putting the jumbled mess of words that flit around in my brain down on paper (or in a blog post) helps me move past it and I am actually able to take the first step. In this case it’s probably like the hundredth step, so maybe I’ll just say the next step.
Since we’re on the subject of steps, I just realized that I probably tried to take the hundredth step before I actually took the first step and now I need to go back and fill in all the holes. See? An epiphany, even while still working through the chaos.
Anyway, I’ve probably ranted about this enough.
At least I am feeling somewhat better…