Writing fiction doesn’t sound very daring, but clearly it scares the pants off me. Otherwise I wouldn’t try so hard to avoid it.
O, the procrastination. Must straighten house! Must do paperwork! Must go to library! Check email! Prune the petunias! Check email again! Organize thumbtacks!
I am terrified that I have not one creative bone in my body. Why is this so scary? Because I really want to be creative. A good story is my favorite thing, and I want to be able to write one.
Failing at writing fiction scares me so much that I can only bring myself to try it about twice a year. I recognize the absurdity of expecting to be good at something you rarely practice. Yet at the first sign that I am producing tripe instead of insta-literary gold, I run screaming from the keyboard. Because it is better to yearn for something than to prove conclusively that I can’t have it. So you can fully appreciate the depth and richness
of my lunacy, I should say that this has gone on for years.
Brave me: Maybe I could—
Hypercritical (and sadly more authoritative) me: That sucks!
Brave me: What if—
Hypercritical me: Derivative!
Brave me: I know. I’ll—
Hypercritical me: Boring!
Brave me: Well, maybe—
Hypercritical me: Brainless!
Brave me: But—
Hypercritical me: You’ve got nothing!
Brave (by now somewhat cowed) me: Maybe I’ll try a different exercise.
This is all before my fingers touched the keyboard.
When I finally managed to type something, I doubted every word, every sentence, every potential direction for the story. After 15 minutes on one writing prompt, I abandoned it for another.
After an hour and a half, I gave up. Not sure what is more frightening – trying to write fiction and utterly failing or giving up on the idea entirely. I can’t give it up entirely. Not yet anyway.
I braved the blank page and came up empty. So I did something else today: I added my name to my About page, and I linked this blog to Facebook. At least I think I did. I don’t entirely understand how Facebook works.
Don’t even get me started on Twitter.