I’ve been struggling to write recently. My novel has been limping forward as the doubts about what it will become loom larger and larger in my mind.
I’ve always been very self-conscious about my writing. Back when I was growing up, I used to save my stories on floppy disks (remember floppy disks?) which I kept in a box hidden in a drawer. And those were the days in which I thought everything I wrote was ingenious!
I know that writing a novel is an ambitious project. It will be a huge accomplish for me if I finish. However, the bigger accomplishment would be overcoming the fear of judgment.
My fledgling book is still struggling to find itself. (Note to self: do much more planning in advance next time!) My characters evolve from day to day. I wrestle with words, trying to capture the emotions of scenes and balance them with a light, whimsical humor. I try to conjure a character who is flawed but likable–because I care deeply and sincerely that she is liked by future readers. I want her to be understood, for her story to be relatable, and for her journey to mean something. And I know I’m not there yet.
I also know that the only way to get there is to keep writing. I have to take this deeply flawed piece of fiction, drag it into the light, and beat it into submission. In other words, even though the fantastic story in my head seems lackluster on paper, the only way to get past it is to get it all down, then revise it from there. And for all those voices in my head telling me that what I’m doing isn’t any good, my only response is that if I give up and abandon this project now it will never have a chance to become good.
The only way to get through these fears, doubts, and pitfalls is to keep going.