Throwback Post: A Writer’s Confidence

I don’t remember when I wrote this, to be honest. I’m going to guess it was somewhere around 2014.

A lot of my sentiments are the same, though. I do still believe that if I put the work into it, I can get Roselyn’s Legacy (and other things I write) published. The things I was proud about learning then, I only know better now. While the scope of what Roselyn’s Legacy was has morphed drastically YET AGAIN, I believe that eventually, I’ll get to what the story should be.

I’m going to make a bold statement: I believe that if I put the work into revising Roselyn’s Legacy, I can get it published.

I’m not naive. I know how difficult the process is, and how dismal the odds are. I’m not even saying that it won’t take me years to accomplish. But I believe in this story that much, and I believe in myself that much as well.

I would consider the last few months a ‘cocooning’ for myself as a writer. It wasn’t intentional, while I set out to learn a few things, I didn’t anticipate that it would go so far in changing how I approach things.

Over the last couple of years, I have been trying to learn things, using that as my crutch. I thought that I would be able to call myself a competent writer when I had read all of the proper books and done tons of research. While arguably it would have been smarter just to write regularly, this information hasn’t gone to waste. I have methods for building worlds, plots, and characters that extends beyond (but does not exclude) notes in a haphazard notebook. Because I am not flying by the seat of my pants anymore, I can point others to my resources, which makes me feel credible. I can also look back on these resources when I get stuck.

I discovered, quite by accident, that I am not alone. When I close the file after working on my novel, I feel proud of myself. What I wrote belongs on the pantheon of the gods, or at the very least in a respectable book. But by the next morning, I am pretty sure when I open that file, I am going to find that all I really did the previous day was smack the keyboard with the tip of my nose for an hour. But if I swallow that fear and open the file again, I’ll find that what’s there really wasn’t as bad as I was dreading. But if I let that fear build, it’ll keep me from working on that novel indefinitely.

While I’m not sure if this happens to every writer, or even a majority of writers, I learned that I am not alone. That revelation was gold. You know what the cure is? To keep writing. It’s easier said than done – revising Roselyn’s Legacy, whenever I think about the next scene, I’m pretty sure that’s the point that everything turns to drivel. But then I find that it’s not so bad in reality, and I think of ways to make it better.

I also discovered that ideas beget ideas. Like plot gizka, or plot bunnies, or whatever your favorite multiplying creature may be. If I don’t touch a file for a long time, my brain isn’t working on it. Ideas will be few and far between. But if I work on something consistently, it’s always somewhere in my processing queue. Not only am I finding ideas for Roselyn’s Legacy, but I’m taking notes for a couple other projects as well. I don’t know how much writing I’ll get into with these ideas at present, but I’ll toss those irons into the fire as well and see what comes from it.

I’ve also been reading like a fiend. In addition to reading stuff from writers that I would like to be when I grow up, I’ve been expanding my palette. I’ve always been a pretty voracious reader, but only in the last few years have I stopped being such a snob and started to admit that there are perfectly good books written after 1865.

Lastly, I swallowed my fear and let other people see my creation. My writing isn’t perfect. No matter how many times one section gets passed around, there is always -something- that can be improved. But funny thing, with all this writing I’ve been doing in the past year, I’ve become a better writer. No one has dismissed my novel as drivel and told me to quit writing and go back to my day job. It’s terrifying, don’t get me wrong. Originally a short story called “Heart of Ice”, Roselyn’s Legacy has existed for me for ten years now. I wrote things before it, and I’ve worked on projects since, but I need to do this story justice.

In the end, it all comes down to my willingness to sit down and do the work. The art of discipline is one that I’m still learning, but I am no longer stalling because I don’t feel capable. For the first time, I believe that I can do it…and that’s a nice place to be.

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