I was reading over some of the last few entries, and I was unsurprised to see that they all more or less follow the same pattern; hiatus > return > vague/flimsy hope > vague/flimsy idea > optimistic > disappearance.
On the face of it, I’m inclined to be concerned. It has happened a few times over the past year or two. There’s no getting around it, I’m not here to mope or whinge about the difficulties of being a ‘tortured artist’. I don’t need to feel like a cliché, but however I look at it, I’ve struggled these past few years. Even the last ten years, I’ve tried and failed to deal with depression and anxiety and I’m not sure if it’s getting better. The last few weeks seem to have shown an improvement, so I’m going to keep working with that.
I’ve started reading again, (albeit stopped for a moment due to the new D3 season), I’ve started writing again, I have a decent idea of the plot, or at least the first half of it. Granted, it goes Part 1 – Strong, Part 2 – Less Strong, Part 3 – Very Not Strong and Part 4 – Opposite of Strong, but the details will come with some thought and some chat when I need them to.
This idea is inspired by Japan, Shinto, Feudal Japan and the Warring States period, I’ve mixed in some Portuguese elements just to spice up the names and the folklore a bit. I have a pretty clear picture of the main characters and the main themes but I find that my anxieties and my confidence issues are causing me to doubt the legitimacy of these ideas. I am conscious of making my characters three dimensional, I want them to be interesting and realistic, and I hope that these ideas will allow me to do that.
I have concerns, but what writer doesn’t? The fact of the matter is, my writing seems bland because I’m staring at it for 5 hours a day. It seems stunted and amateur because I’m pausing every 2 minutes to construct the next sentence, or the next line of dialogue. I need to remember these things are universal matters that all writers deal with.
I was quite surprised, actually, when I was getting started with this idea. I was using Japanese conventions to name my characters and locations, basing the magic on Shinto, and all I could think was ‘I’m just ripping off Japanese culture’. And, at the heart of it, I guess I am. I’ve never been able to create ‘pure Fantasy settings’ like the Malazan books. I’ve always been rooted in the real world. How many fantasy novels incorporate Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Chinese mythology into their stories? Or European castles? I’m doing the same thing, but with Japan. This is just an illustration of the legitimately inane and idiotic concerns that dig their hooks into me.
I’ve learned that not writing because I don’t feel like my story is unique is one of the greatest mistakes I can make.
At the end of the day though, dealing with these concerns is the trick. I heartily intend to keep posting on this blog. Not every day, because I don’t have that much to say, but regularly, interspersed with Twitter, Facebook and WattPad, once I get that started. I am studying English Literature & Creative Writing with the Open Uni, which I hope will also pad out my skillset, gain me some more technical insights and allow me to meet like-minded authors. Generally, I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and that’s not something I get to say very often.