I’m now in to my second week of my serious writing project and I find that I’m really enjoying it. I frequently don’t feel the awesome inspiration that started this project several years ago, but I’m learning in a way that seems to be sticking that I don’t need to have that feeling to write. It is fascinating to me just how much of what I feel about writing seems to depend on just how I look at the task. When I think of a finished book and just the sheer number of pages, characters, scenes, and plot that make up that book it is incredibly intimidating. Always has been. That intimidation leads to fear of failure. Well, it does for me anyway. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t like failing at anything. I know it is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I like it. So that fear and intimidation give my inner critic a hard to ignore voice. “Oh, I’m tired today. Anything I write won’t be good.” or “I don’t know how to really get in to that inspired mood so that I can just practically will my book in to existence.” Very sill stuff when you take a step back and look at the objections of your inner critic more rationally. Still, not all of his observations are silly. “Am I really good enough to do this? I have to eat after all.” That one has stopped me more than once.
One of the things that is really helping me kick that inner critic to the curb is the daily writing routine Stephen King recommends in his On Writing book. I’ve already proven to myself that 1,000 words a day is a very doable, even easy, target for me to hit. There have been a few days where I checked my word count several times before I actually hit my daily minimum. Then there was last Sunday when I managed to put down 2,300 or so words and nearly finished an entire chapter in one sitting. I think this, as much as anything else, is helping me to overcome my inner critic and build up my confidence. I am proving to myself every day, in a way that can’t be dismissed, that I can do this. That in fact, I am doing it! Every time I think and/or re-realize that, I can’t help but get excited about what I’m doing. I also feel like I’m really taking control of a life that I’ve let drift for years. I have no illusions that I have much control over my life, but at least this is something I’m doing for myself. Proving this to myself. It’s a good feeling.
Oh, I also stumbled across a pretty amazing resource for any aspiring writers out there. I’ve only scratched the surface of the great information here, but it’s getting me even more excited about my writing and my prospects for some day making a living off of my writing:
Tons of good information there. It’s made me realized that I need to treat writing much like I do my interest in computers. I need to read up on it a bit every day to stay up to date with where the industry is, what successful writers are doing, what new tech or trends are changing things up, etc. I should know at least as much about writing as I do about the HD 7970 3GB graphics card powering the visuals on my computer. I’ve got a lot to learn, and I’m excited to get to it.