Yesterday I started a scene that I hoped to use to sop up several of the 50k that I'm supposed to be writing as part of my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. Before I was well started, doubts started hammering in. Then I stopped writing and the fetters fell away.
We all know what we're supposed to do with doubts. Ignore them, lock them up, throw them out; do anything with them other than pay attention. I wanted to do that and just keep going. I was planning on getting t-shirt at the end of November and there are badges, too (for those of you don't know, I've been a badgeaholic since Girl Scouts). I've done this for several years now and there is NOTHING ELSE GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. This should be easy.
It was easier, as it turns out, to listen to the doubts. To finally hear the criticisms from my current and former writing groups about my lack of clarity and emotion, to hear the Pumpkin King's concerns about the general lack of interest that my plot inspires, and, finally, to hear the reality underneath all of those writing manuals. Writing well is difficult and it requires skill and attention and drive.
The deal is that I'm lazy. That working for nothing (on the miniscule chance that I'll ever be published) no longer inspires me. My characters don't speak to me and the plots don't unspool like a movie in my head. Pushing myself toward publication and revision just left me frustrated.
I like to read. That should be enough.