Friday, January 6, 2012

Facing the Dark Lord

Today I woke up and I felt like I couldn't write. It happens to me every now and again. Actually, quite often.

It's scary every time.

I love writing. I love words. And I absolutely loath these cold-oatmeal moments of doubt. But they're there. Can I really do this? I've only finished two books. One of them was a novella - 27,000 words. So it hardly even counts. Can I write a second real novel?

And the book I recently finished (the one I love) is a contemporary coming-of-age/love story. Do I have what it takes to write my current WIP, a fantasy novel?

Yah. I did not like the feeling. And you know, it hasn't left.


I have come to the realization that I don't have what it takes to write good fantasy. I also didn't have what it took to finish my contemporary novel when I started it. I gained what it took in the doing, and it became a good book in the painful, painstaking rewrites.

The skills, perhaps, are found in the doing. Like the heroes in the books that I love - few of them have what it takes to beat the Dark Lord in the beginning of their stories. And if they decided that they couldn't do it at the beginning, with the skills that they had, they'd be perfectly right. Yup, Harry Potter at age 11, just accepted into Hogwarts, has zero chance of defeating Book Seven's Voldemort and all the dark wizards.

Not that I'm a wizard. But... the metaphor works for me.

As to the question of whether I've got both ends and the middle to another book in me... I don't know, because I haven't done it yet, but I think that the answer is yes. And whether it is or not... I can't know unless I really try.

Supposing there isn't another novel in me - supposing I just had the one real book to write... no, let's go the other way. Supposing there is another book in me, and not just a book, because anyone can write a book, but a good story, a story that I want to read... it would be a moronic tragedy to give up.

Therefore. My decision? I. Am. A. Writer. And writers... write. Fear is not my boss - I am. So... right now, I am going to go and add a thousand new words to an unfinished story. Will they be good? Ah... they'll be better than the empty space that would have been. Will I be able to reach an ending? No guarantees. I don't think there ever are. There is too much to life to be guaranteed of something like finishing a story. But I can sure do everything I can to make it so.

And then tomorrow... I'll get up, and I'll face the Dark Lord again. :) One day at a time. And I'll try to stop worrying about it. Because if I'm going to write anyway, worrying is dumb.

Sigh. So much to learn...

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