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Friday, October 21, 2016

More Complaining, More Discouragement, More Hopelessness

I'm still in a slump. I don't think I've written anything all week. Not even opened up a document. Oh, I've had some good ideas for future stories. But no butt-in-seat, lunch-hour prose. I don't call it Writer's Block. It's more like... Writer's Fear. Because that's how I feel. Afraid to write. Afraid that nothing I put down is going to be any good. Afraid that once it's in tangible format, it ceases to be as good as the idea in my head. Afraid that I'll never compare to those people like Nalo Hopkinson and Ted Chiang. Afraid that it's all a big waste of time because no one's ever going to read my work. Hundreds of submissions between Black Hole Son, Merm-8, and Defender. And no pick-ups.

I crafted Defender to be commercial, to be marketable. I pictured world-building and series potential. And I screwed it all up with one character trait -- I can't get a market because the main character is drafted into doing a thing that girls usually do. And girls read books.

Maybe I need to re-evaluate why I write. Do I want to spread a message? Do I want to entertain? Do I want compliments and adoration? Or maybe it doesn't matter why, because no matter what I might as well complete a novel and throw it in the fireplace.

Right now I think I could start one of two novels. One is a little easier -- a simple quest story, fantasy world, not unlike "The Last Unicorn". Magic and creatures and princes and such. It would be easier, might boost my confidence a little bit, but I'm not sure it's as marketable. And I'm sure it's not as original. The other one is, IMO. It's a sci-fi romance framed around planet colonization/terraforming. More complicated, more science, but I can see it on a shelf more than the other one. But before that, I've promised myself to finish the short stories I said I'd do. And those last attempts aren't filling me with confidence. An erotica about a female centaur that felt like pulling teeth. I just felt filthy after writing it. And then a fifth set of revisions on a short story that has a great premise, but I can't find a frame around it.

If it it Writer's Fear, then fear can be conquered. And how does one conquer fear? How does one gain courage? By facing your fears? I guess that means sitting down and writing. Doing it for the love. Not the potential outcome. But I tell you, some days, I wonder if I still want to write. It's just so much easier to sit and watch YouTube videos. I wish I had some encouragement to keep going. But writing is a solitary profession. It stays inside until it's finalized. And by then you've spent so much time on it, if it's not good, it's a year or a season gone.

I just don't know what to do.
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