The Struggle is Real

Posted: August 10, 2016 in writing
Tags: , , ,

I haven’t written in awhile because I haven’t been writing.

There. I said it. For reasons that are numerous and mostly bullshit I basically stopped writing soon after my last post. I told myself it was because I was busy, that my brain had too much to think about without forcing it to be creative, that I just needed a break.

As time passed and I busied myself with other things I continued to tell myself that I’d come back to it. That tomorrow I would write. That next week I would kick myself into high gear and start accomplishing things on paper.

Finally, I started to wonder if all my dreams of finishing my book were simply fantasies. Maybe writing wasn’t for me. Maybe I don’t have the discipline. Maybe I hold that dream up as a shield not because it’s really what I need to do but because it allows me to say that my current line of work is not forever. That as soon as I finish this manuscript I can start fixing it up. I can publish it. I can write more and maybe turn it into a job rather than a hobby.

I worried that I was hiding from some sort of truth deep down: that I don’t want to work at my current job for forever, but that I have no idea what I’d rather do so might as well hold up the banner of “writer”. It’s safer to hold up an unattainable dream than confront the problem head on.

I let the self doubt set up residence in my heart while I let my story stagnate on my hard drive.

As I sat, wondering what else I could do with myself if writing wasn’t it I suddenly found myself calling to mind all the times that it felt like writing really was it. I thought of the long-winded stories I wrote for English class back in middle school, of the afternoons in high school spent writing up fanfiction to later post online, the years of participating in group storytelling with an online RPG message board. I thought of the joy it brought me, of that feeling that nothing else was better than imagining a world and putting it on paper.

I’ve been focusing a lot on the struggle of finishing. To be honest, I’ve never attempted anything so large in scope before. Finishing a story never required stamina beyond a few weeks, and to be honest I’ve been working on my current project for almost five years. I started toying with the idea soon after securing my first professional job, and as a person who typically goes for what they want full steam I find it disheartening that I haven’t reached an end yet. That it’s still in disarray.

A few weeks ago I started organizing all my handwritten notes. All the jumbled scenes and snippets I typed up into Scrivener, labeling as I went. When I ran out, I started reading what I had, editing as I went, filling in some blanks.

I’m making progress. It is slow, but it is relatively steady compared to the months of nothing.

This afternoon I looked on my Google drive and found even more I had typed up months ago. Full scenes that flowed from one to the next that I’d forgotten I’d taken the time to type up. So I started copying and pasting them into place.

I started reading what I have and smiled, amazed by what I’ve brought into being so far. It’s more than I realized I had. Not a finished story, but not as big of a mess as I’d lead myself to believe.

A little bit of organization may be just what I needed to help me get back on track.

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