Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Writing Insecurities

So I just got back from writing group. And because I've been on a diet and am a lightweight anyway, I'm a little bit happy and a lot bit introspective, and thoughts are flying around in my head.

Mainly though, what the fuck is going on with my novel? Can I just throw that question out there, where nobody has the knowledge or power to answer it? Because I sure as hell don't know. I wrote like... half a page a couple weeks ago. That's it. Nothing else in probably over a year. This is the thing I want to do with my life, and yet I can't even manage to work on it even once a week? Why? What is happening? What's wrong with me?

Okay let me be fair to myself. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I have gotten so much positive, constructive, and negative-but-constructive feedback on my novel from writing group that I have pages upon pages of notes of things that need to be rewritten or deleted or expanded upon or whatever. And I look at those pages and I look at my novel and I go, fuck. Where the hell do I even begin?

And then I wonder, of course, is it even worth putting more effort into this thing. Is this book worth the time? Will it ever be at a place where I can feel proud? Where it could get published? A big part of me says no. No, it never will be. You've never done it before, why should you do so now? Why should you succeed now when every other time you've tried you've gotten it wrong somehow?

I just don't even know if my book is all that good, at its heart. My mom loves it, but of course she does. And yeah, maybe the writing is good. Maybe the dialogue is so snappy or whatever. But that's not a novel. Y'know? And everyone else in writing group seems to have such a solid grasp on what makes a good plot, or character arc, or dramatic tension. And I feel like I come at my novel completely blind, like I'm just throwing random shit at the wall and seeing what sticks, with no understanding of character motivation or dramatic tension or anything. My brain just gets stuck on the details and I don't know how to look at the bigger picture. Will I ever be able to? Am I just deficient?

What am I even doing? Should I be writing something new? Sucking it up and trying to edit this book and see what happens? I can't decide and I'm discouraged and unmotivated and I don't know how to proceed.

Writing is really hard. Like, really hard. And the hardest part is battling the self-criticism and negativity I pile upon myself until I'm buried. I just wish I knew how to be confident in my work and create something that I know 100% is worth my time.

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