Bethany: Ideas, they always seem better in my head*
As I lie in bed last night waiting for my daughter to fall into blissful sleep, I came upon a new book idea. I love those. In fact, I might go out on a limb and say I LIVE for those moments. The story idea, the characters, the plot lines all seem so clear. So exciting. Something akin to magical. The entire story makes sense in all the right places and so easy to just sit down and write. Well, when I get up and write them.
That is, until when I actually do sit down to type/write/stutter out the fragments of the idea into something more official. Whether that be in an electronic document, piece of paper or just verbalizing it to my husband. Then… it all gets ruined. The idea suddenly becomes real and I find holes in the plot that seemed so flawless only moments before. The characters, superficial. And well the idea, just not quite where it needs to be. And, yet, I still take the time to continue writing it all down. Every piece of inspiration. Just in case I need an idea to grow into something more.
Though the doubts that start when I start writing? Never go away. In fact, I think more and more of them creep up the more I write the story. I’m convinced it has to do with the fact that I am *actually* writing and progressing and doing what I want to do. The little old thing called FEAR has weird ways of trying to ruin your plans. And right now, I’m just going to blame him for how I feel about that idea. Because the other part of my brain–the better half–still likes it. And thinks with a bit more tweaking (and letting go), the great parts of it just might come out and play. If I let it. And right now, I have nothing else to lose. Except, the excitement that is all in my head.
* So I’ve been absent forever. And so has my writing and creativity. And really, my life (thanks to an over-bearing day job). This was one of my weak attempts at more committed blogging again. And Cathy asked me me to cross post from my blog. So, I am. Thanks for the reminder Cathy. And for always reading even when I barely post.
Bethany, your blog is always fun, even if the circumstance behind it isn’t. There’s always some level of humor or relatability.
I’m glad to see you’re back to regular posts and that you’re dipping back in here.
I wish I had those moments myself, but I rarely do. Whenever a seeming stroke of brilliance does strike, I never talk about it because I end up talking it all away….
Fear stinks. I know exactly how you feel. Write anyway. Push through the fear. There’s good stuff waiting!
Good to see you back here, Bethany.
Good luck with your new idea. Push that fear out of the door (or at least send it on a long vacation) and get that idea on paper.
Have you ever read “On Writing” by Stephen King? He’s a big believer in writing the first draft with the door shut, a concept I agree with 100%. Don’t talk about your idea. Just write about it.
that is excellent advice. i’ve talked my way out of a myriad of projects…
When I was working on my novel, years ago (a project that all but convinced me that I am, after all, more a poet than a fiction writer, though I did manage to finish the monster of a first draft just before my son was born) I had this quote above my desk:
“It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.” — Virginia Woolf
I’m not sure what Woolf piece it’s from, but I find it to be eminently true. When those doubts crept up into my own writing, I’d take comfort in her articulation of what I was feeling (and fearing). I found that quite comforting. Perhaps you will as well.
i believe it’s from ‘a room of one’s own’ i like what she says about the shape keeping you going. that is exactly what did it for me to ‘finish’ my first big project recently. i tend to be more of a poet and short-short fiction writer myself.