Chasing Inspiration

Sunday, February 26, 2012

When It Gets Scary

 I'm a writer. I'm not published but I do write. And I've reached something of an impasse with my self-esteem. I'll be brutally honest - this story scares me.

I know why. I don't think I'm a talented enough writer to pull this story off. The complexity of this story shakes me to my core. It always has. I've attempted to write in various incarnations. In one I had the motivation wrong and threw in characters who didn't need to be there. In another draft, I attempted to downplay the portions of the story that truly frighten me. In a fast draft, I actually hit The End only to realize the story doesn't really end at this point and is likely a trilogy, I'm still not clear on motivation and my characterization falls flat.

I am now taking Discovering Story Magic with Laura Baker and wish the class was longer or my work life was less busy or I could be on vacation while attempting to get to the heart of this story. I went into the class willing to change everything. Every. Last. Word. Heck, I was willing to change my characters as well. Which is a good thing, because things, they are a changing. I'm still scared. Scared shitless that I will never be the skilled author I need to be to tell this story. But I'm working through the fear and not letting it get to me.

It would be really easy to walk away from this story and move on to something else. In fact, I may write another story while I continue to work on this one. I may have skills I need to develop before I can truly tell this tale. That's okay. I want to identify those skills and work on them. I think about authors I admire and I have to remember they all had a learning curve. Heck, Nora Roberts wrote shorter category romance before tackling Eve and Roarke or her more complex single titles. JR Ward started in single title and category romance before she started writing her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Jill Shalvis wrote for many, many years before her latest series (which I love with a capital L).

What I'm trying to remind myself is this - writing is a learned skill. Every mistake, every misstep, every solid plot line and every completed book allows me to learn more about the craft and what it takes for me to write a book. I'm not my favorite authors. And I'm not where they are on their writing journeys. I'm me and I am where I am.

Yes, this story scares me. Does that make me a horrible writer? Only if I let the fear win.

I haven't forgotten to think about what I'm grateful for. This week, it's easy.
  1. Laura Baker for her insight in plotting and brainstorming and her ability to understand what's in my head and verbalize it in a way that makes sense
  2. Farrah Rochon and Cynthia Justlin for their enouragement as we all walk this road called writing
  3. My favorite authors who continue to show me it can be done 
  4. My mom, who has a birthday today! I'm so thankful she's a reader and taught me to love stories

No comments:

Post a Comment