You know that saying, "faint heart never won fair maiden?" Well, faint heart never wrote a book as far as I'm concerned.
Lately my writing has not been going well. I can’t seem to find the motivation to write, and when I do sit down to write, the words won’t flow. I am forever hearing authors say they write because they can’t NOT write. It’s always in the back of their minds, their fingers itch to get to the keyboard, and they ignore everything else in the world to do this one thing.
What if I’m not like that?
Does that mean I’m not a writer?
Or that I shouldn’t want to be a writer?
I know I want to be a writer, for a number of reasons. I want to give young adult readers more options of well written, thought provoking books. I was (and still am) a huge reader and I want to encourage kids to read. It seems to be lost on so many these days.
I also want to be a writer because I have these stories in my mind that won’t go away. I figure the best way to exorcise them is to get them down on paper. Or on a simulated piece of paper on my computer screen. I’ve had some of these ideas for years, characters and scenes that cycle endlessly. I either need to write them down or talk to a professional because I’m hearing voices. Probably both.
I enjoy writing, I really do. Even though there are many times I can’t make myself sit down in front of the computer, I do like to write. I blame my laziness on a lot of things. I have a full time job. I sit in front of a computer for nine hours a day, why in the world do I want to do that when I get home? I feel guilty abandoning my husband in the evenings when it’s the only time we see other. I could list a million more, but they are all just excuses.
I want to be a writer, in part, because I want the lifestyle. I know being a writer is not easy, I know it’s stressful and you have to do things you don’t want to do and there are deadlines and all of that. But, I still want the lifestyle, the relative freedom to work from a different place every day if I want to and to work in yoga pants if I feel like it. Trust me, I would feel like it.
But at the same time, I’m completely terrified to have any one read anything I’ve written. That’s a problem, a huge one, I get that. See, I like to think that if I can get something to the publishing stage, it will have been read, reviewed, and edited by enough people that the terrible first draft will be hidden and no one will know how bad at this I actually I am. But, before it gets to that stage, a bunch of people have to read it and tell me everything that is wrong with it and what I should do differently. One of my biggest fears is looking stupid in front of other people, and that’s basically what I’m going to be doing. I’m going to ask other people to tell me everything I did wrong in this manuscript. It’s terrifying, and at the moment it’s crippling. So far, I’ve had exactly two people read a sample of my writing and both times I thought I was going to be sick from the nerves.
What I’m most afraid of is someone telling me I shouldn’t even dream of doing this because I’m that bad at it. That would be devastating. This has been a huge dream of mine for a long time.
I know I need to just get that first draft down on paper. That’s the first hurdle. I have a plot, I have a fairly detailed outline, and I know exactly what is supposed to happen at each stage in the book. But the words just won’t come.
My goal over this long holiday weekend is to make significant progress on my first draft. I need to just sit down and write whatever comes to mind, the revisions come later. Just breathe...and write.