Writerly Fears Spilled into the Internet
I recently wrote out descriptions of my various story ideas for my brother, Joe. I wanted him to think I was actually accomplishing things over here, since he’s out there being a Marine and, you know, making a difference in the world. In a way it was actually helpful, because it reminded me of things about each idea that I had forgotten how much I loved, characters that had formed enough in my head to seem like they could just walk down the street any minute. I have four story ideas that I hope to someday write, in that magical perfect world where things go the right way. But the truth is, I don’t know where to start. I have four big story ideas, all of which have varying levels of complexity and levels of progress. I want to write them all at once, and yet when I stare at that blank white page…it terrifies me. I’ve yet to be able to write something that sounds as good as it did in my head, that displays the emotion in just the way I was trying to convey. The idea that I could suck at the one thing I’ve always wanted to do is too much to face. I know some of you guys have read what I’ve written, and thus may feel compelled to say something like “you’re a good writer, you’re being too hard on yourself” and so on. Or you might secretly be thinking, “Shoot. She’s caught on.” You can keep that to yourself, if that’s the case.
I may have digressed, though i’m not sure what the point was in the first place. Here are things I thought I was going to say: 1) Everyone asks me what I’m going to do w/ my degrees and I make something up. Why don’t I ever tell people that I’m working on novels? That I want to be a writer? 2) I love the word “thus.” I just want to thus the shit out of things when I write. 3) Maybe I will write out the ideas, put them into a hat, and draw one out. Whichever one it is, that is the story I will focus on. Seriously, i mean it. 4) I’ve written 10 ¾ pages of my Alex story. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Which is why I write this in the first place. 5) I just want to have that book that I can shove in people’s faces and say “Here, I did this. Right here.” And there will be proof that I did something in this world. Especially the people who don’t think much of me, that I’m just that quiet kid who will smile sweetly but doesn’t seem like much beyond that.