I have a confession. Since I was 10-years-old, I’ve wanted to be an author. Writing has had the largest impact on my life. It’s quite possible writing has had an even greater influence than most people. I find it easier to express myself in writing and have chosen to convey complex emotions through letters. There’s no way I could have gotten the same point across vocally. When I was lonely and in my darkest moments, writing was how I overcame. The stories and poetry I wrote helped me to understand and overcome my own feelings.
Since that young age, I have had a ton of ideas for stories. Some involve worlds I created for escape during sadder times in my childhood. Others are relatively new concepts. My story ideas often start from an idea I want to play with. For example, purity. What is purity and is it any better or worse than being a good person? Where is its value?
From these questions I form a story and a main character. Rarely do I have an idea of where I am going with the plot. Sometimes, I feel I need to sit and plan it all out before writing. Other times I think I should just let my fingers flow as they may.
None of the above is what I want to confess here. My confession is that I feel like I am a poor writer. In fact, sometimes I question whether I am even deserving of that title. I hear about so many different methods people use to create their stories and none of them fit my own. Part of my problem may be that I am still developing my writing style.
As I sit here, I confess to feeling more self-conscious than usual about my writing. In this state of mind I am in, I think it would be therapeutic to list my concerns.
The best time for me to write is in the morning with as much caffeine as I can get my hands on. This sucks because I have a full-time job. Basically, this leaves writing to the weekends, which are almost always busy. I wish I was one of those writers who could sit with a glass of wine and write all night long. Unfortunately, this has never been me. Even in college, I was worthless after 10PM. I used to wake up at six or seven in the morning to write my term papers. After spending weeks on research, I could bust out a 15+ page paper in one morning. I am a morning writer, and I am still trying to fit this quality into my daily life. (The obvious solution is to wake up earlier… something I need to work on)
My own self-doubt cripples me. I will sit to write and start to doubt the quality. If I let it get to me, I’ll spend time editing details that don’t need to be messed with yet. I may even delete paragraphs after deciding they were poorly written. All this time is time that would be better spent crafting my story. Honestly, writing for me can be like a fight sometimes. I have to constantly tell myself that this is good. This is worth while. Just get lost in the story. When inspiration hits, it’s the easiest thing in the world. Everything flows in unison. If ever I start to doubt my story, my writing will slow. Usually, I can counter this by taking a break here or there to read a blog or check Facebook. (the lesson to be learned here is that I need to start my Saturday writing sessions again)
The worst thing in the world is when I let it get to me. Everything stops. I can tell myself this is good, but I don’t believe. I’m getting better though. I tell myself that, even if I write a book that sucks, I’m ahead of every person who said they wanted to write a book and didn’t. Having a written book will give me more to work with as well. I can learn from what people like and dislike and improve from there.
I have so many ideas and so little actually written. It can be hard to focus on just one concept. I may sit with the intention of working on one story, only to find the inspiration isn’t there. If I keep going back and forth between concepts, how will I ever get anything of substance written? I once read that it was good to move back and forth between ideas. Maybe I just want too much too fast. I am in my early 20s, after all. While there are plenty of authors younger than me, there are many more who hadn’t published their first book until they were decades older than me. Nothing needs to be rushed, but I want it so bad.
I want it too bad.
Therein lies the root of my writing confidence issue. There is a part of me that feel like I should have something written by now. How long can I hold a dream if I don’t peruse it? And what if I fail? And what if I just keep coming up with new ideas instead of finishing one I’ve already developed? And what if the truth is that I wasn’t meant to ever write a book? Do I have it in me?
Answer: Yes, TK. Now get your butt off this damn soap box and start writing.
I can’t believe I forgot to mention this on my blog. If you haven’t already, please go check out Common Sense Millennial. She’s mentioned me in her article about Millennials who break negative GenY stereotypes. Thanks a bunch, Kali.