Fear Of Writing

(happily I can attack these posts with no semblance of uneasiness, or forethought)

You may or may not know that I’m writing a novel. Not the novel, a thing I’ve been chugging away at for years and is, in my mind, the best idea I’ve come up with and should only be written once I am suitably experienced and skilled at writing fiction, but another novel. A shorter novel. One that will be the first in a long series, the length of which is as-of-yet-undefined.

But you’ll have immediately noticed a problem in my approach to writing in that first paragraph, that I can only try to write things when I’m good enough at writing. Basically, and pretentiously, I think the idea behind my novel is fabulous enough to deserve to be produced well. If a third of a novel is its idea, a third is its written content, and a third is its editing, the last two thirds are technical skills, as opposed to creative sparks, that can be trained. I don’t think I have trained those last two enough to do the creative spark justice. As well as this mindset being insanely narcissistic – ‘only a genius could aptly verbalise my ideas!’ scoffs my writer’s subconscious – it’s practically problematic, that it dissuades me from writing the things that I enjoy and want to write.

This problem is also growing. I started my current novel precisely to build up my skills in writing and editing in preparation for the novel, but have come to respect this novel’s story and characters so much that I feel ill-equipped to produce even this one, and will ned a further sub-project to prepare me for the first sub-project. This is also the reason I failed NaNoWriMo last year, not a lack of time or ideas, but a dissatisfaction with my own skill in relation to the idea I was verbalising with that skill. If NaNoWriMo is the epitome of fast-scrawling, quality-backseating writing fun, where the emphasis is solely on the act of writing, and I can’t even give up my pretentious ideas for that, how in the Hell am I supposed to write a proper novel?

As with most problems, the solution is a Nike cock-sucking ‘just do it’. To be more comfortable writing, I need to write; to be better at writing so as to lose this nagging feeling of inadequacy, I need to write; to have experience in actually knowing what is good and bad writing, instead of just assuming I suck, I need to write.

So I’m going to say this now, and I expect you lot to pester me about this as the Summer progresses – I’m going to finish this novel by the time I go back to uni in September. Written, edited, and completed as much as I can without, like, a proper editor or publisher telling me how to do it. I need to write. So I’ll write.

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6 thoughts on “Fear Of Writing

  1. *pesters* YAY I’M A PEST!
    But on a more serious note, it’s interesting how this way of thinking/critical approach can even extend to less write-y subjects..when I read this I nodded pretty nod-fully at one point.

    1. I live for nod-fully nods from people. That should really replace the ‘like’ mechanic on this site.

      And yeah a lot of creative subjects are similar in this regard – the thought process and mechanics behind them are almost identical, it’s just the realisation of those ideas (words, pictures, sounds etc.) that differs.

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