See what I did there?
I’m not going to bother talking about what ideas I’m working on just now, or what I want/hope/plan to do. I have 691 words under my belt so far today, and I need to focus on that.
For too long now, ever since I completed Long May Men Have Voices, I’ve been struggling. I’ve not focused on any ideas. I’ve written 30k, 40k, 60k words on numerous things and they each end up losing their merits or their appeal. This, I’m sure, is not a problem unique to me, but it’s fecking frustrating all the same. The most important thing is that I work on something, I push through, despite my doubts and my concerns, until I have a finished product. Then, and only then, can I be free to doubt and criticise things, because I can edit it! I hate getting caught up in editing whilst I’m writing, the two processes are diametrically opposed. It’s absolutely vital, I believe, that we write, and then edit. There’s nothing more damaging than breaking up that creative flow for any reason, let alone to focus on picking it apart with a fine-tooth comb. It’s not productive, or conducive to healthy routines.
I’ve caught myself saying things like ‘I’ve been doubting my writing’ and ‘I just don’t see any quality in there.’ This seems like, if nothing else, a pretty solid foundation for a self-fulfilling prophecy. One of the treatments for depression these days, is to consider automatic thoughts, and talk to them, reason out why they are invalid. These thoughts I mentioned, they are automatic for me, I do it without thinking, without consideration and for no reason other than a problem with self-esteem. It’s important here that I don’t give them any stock, that I don’t let them rule my thinking.
Self-doubt is natural I wager, at least in this line of work. I sure as hell can’t let it get in my way. Neither should any of you. If you can push through self-doubt, I think you’re all set for the long haul. There is nothing harder for me than defeating the doubt that resides in my head and my heart.
A friend of mine has observed that I might be trying to produce non-authentic ideas, and I think there is some merit in this idea. She has said that stories produce their own energy, and you become wholly involved in telling them. I think there is some merit in this idea, too. Looking back, I think that I’ve tried to write so many of these stories simply because I had an idea with some meat on its bones. I honestly can’t think of any story that resonated with me except for Long May Men Have Voices, and that didn’t turn out anything like I had hoped for, so I wonder if there’s some kind of fear in there. A fear of commitment, maybe, or a fear of disappointment. Either way, if I prepare for both, then I can overcome both, should the need arise.
As far as finding a resonating idea goes, all I can do on that front is keep searching. I’m Nathan Drake, I’m on the adventure of a life time, and the treasure at the end of this journey could be everything I have dreamed of achieving. That seems like something to work towards. Failure only occurs when I stop writing.