A Big Helping of Writer’s Block

I’ve felt so ready to write these last few days. Other than that 1,000 word Foreword/Prologue thing, however, I haven’t written a word of fiction. I’m pretty sure the biggest reason for that is that I’m scared. I’m scared to start another draft, knowing it won’t be a draft worthy of publication. Knowing that know matter how well I write it, I’ll eventually decide that the first book in this series needs to be so different that no amount of editing can turn this draft into what it needs to be. I’m terrified that writing this draft won’t get me any closer to figuring out my writing process in a more succinct and efficient way, and that I’ll never allow myself to get published not because I can’t write a good book, but because I always feel like there’s more to do. I haven’t been able to figure out a way around that. I’ve never felt like I wrote everything in the book well enough.

Part of that issue is that every single one of my books/series rivals Tolkien in their wide casts of characters and character’s relationships to the plot(s). All of them. I don’t know how to not write a complex book, because I love writing things to be extremely realistic and real life is realistic because everything going on in the lives of the people around us is complex and affects us. The book I want to start writing is Empathy Girl, a Middle Grade Urban Fantasy about a girl who gets super powers, and this series is going to continue at least through her high school experience and maybe beyond that. I’m trying to rival real life in its purest form. I have my own journals as references to help me brainstorm ideas for all the randomness and the way things connect in that time of life, and I have to recreate that for my character with a made up city and made up people.

I suppose all of these issues end up being the cause of one relevant issue: writer’s block.

I want to write. I’m afraid of what I’ll get wrong, again. And I’m afraid that my choices in creating this world will be the wrong ones.

I shouldn’t be afraid. I should just suck it up and write, and accept that of course this draft isn’t going to be right. I should just continue reading up on writing craft and see if I can figure any of this out. Writing in the meantime isn’t going to harm me any, unless I continue to let myself worry over it like this, in which case I’ll be hurting myself. And even then, writing this draft could end up being a good thing. It could all work out in the end.

Part of why I can’t even write the first page without figuring anything else out is that I think this book (or this draft, at least) will begin with my main character arriving in her new neighborhood and meeting the first of her neighbors. I’ve envisioned this happening a lot like what happened to me when I moved to Utah as a 12-year old. I said something that probably led to me being bullied for the next six years by the kid I met that day. I still play this memory over and over in my head and feel mortified because of it. I’d like to think that writing about it will help me through the therapy process, as that’s helped with a lot of other traumatic memories. And writing about it in this middle grade novel? That’d be killing two birds with one stone.

Unfortunately, or maybe not, I feel like that’s a bad idea. I feel like I still need to sculpt Blanche’s new neighborhood mostly from scratch. I can have my main character experience something similar… but not completely similar. And while I feel I need to figure out the backgrounds of the people she meets and what role they play in her life throughout the series… maybe that part can wait for a next draft. Maybe that isn’t the most important thing I need to figure out right now, and it may not even be relevant by the time I write the final draft of this novel.

I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. I wish I could just write and and edit and publish and have it be that simple. I wish I could write books that were that simple. I wish I could just start publishing my books and build a following faster and start creating an income, because at this point, any amount of money would help. Even if it were just eight cents, like one of my author friends recently got on their royalty check.

Honestly, I’m hoping that one of those crazy miracle type things will pop up in my life and suddenly I’ll be involved in some kind of project bigger than one of my own books and it’ll help launch my career and all. Like last night when I dreamed that a published author who wrote similar books and had a following found me on twitter and suggested we collaborate on a fantasy book. I feel like if that kind of thing were to happen in my life, right now would be a good time for it. But obviously, I can’t count on that. The most I can do is daydream. And write, and network, and look for opportunities, and work on personal development, and expand my knowledge on both general and writing career-related topics.

So there is a lot to do in the meantime, whatever might happen in the future.

And as long as I don’t let the anxiety get to me, I really am excited about the goals and plans I have for myself. I know I can do it. I don’t know how hard it will be or what else I have to figure out, but I will get it done. I will get my books out there. And that, I feel, is when I’ll really start to make an impact on the world.

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