*via photojenniSo I've been "acting like a writer" and it's been quite a week. I've been gloomy. Crazy. Inspired. Doubtful. A wee bit manic.
I was wrapping up the second draft of my novel when I realized I needed to radically revise. We're talking butcher knives and chainsaws and axes needed. A main character changed. Plot points dissolved. Entire points of views cut. That unleashed the demons of doubt to do their worst. This process scares the crap out of me. I have an instinct, an intuition as I carve away, but I don't know exactly what I'm doing.
I long to be a writer, to create stories and connect with people bring them delight. But on weeks like this I wonder if I have it in me. Imagination, yes. Brilliant writer? That's where the doubts set in. As much as I believe you can learn more and work hard, I sometimes wonder if there is a certain je ne sais quoi that some writers have, and you either have it or you don't. It's something in their brains tuned into the sound of words, something magical - maybe it's that thing you call voice. And I find myself wondering if I have "it".
Whenever I am working on a project, it seems I always reach this point where I suddenly feel NO GOOD or worse, blind, as if I can't even begin to see the true dimensions of my own work. And then it gets worse. Not only do I beat myself up about that, but my insecurities grow, taking over another part of me - CONFIDENCE. I worry that even if I was the most wonderful writer in the world, I lack confidence. I stunble trying to say what my story is about, blushing to admit I've actually written a madly romantic sci-fi adventure tale.
I feel tongue-tied explaining myself and what I love, the essence of me - or what I might cynically call my brand. And it's this being who I am, owning up to who I am which is hard for me at times and part of what I try to bust through on this blog.
How do I explain that I am a Jane Austen loving bookworm who also enjoys a good dose of kick-ass Battlestar Galactica too? How do I explain that I am as girly as they come, a vintage gal whose greatest fantasy is spending a day antiquing with Rachel Ashwell and yet I find myself writing wild tales of time travelers and space princesses who run away from home to avenge their father's death?
I write the visions that haunt my mind, the tales that keep me company on dark nights - and it turns out that recently the genre it most closely fits is sci-fi, even if that's not the genre I intended to invade. As much as I love sci-fi.... Hello! X-Files, Fringe, BSG, Lost, Alias and Caprica, some of my favorite shows ever - I don't feel like I fit into the scifi geek community.
I don't want to leave a strange impression because I've written a sci-fi novel I'm trying to get published and then you visit my blog and I'm talking about nail polish and chick flicks and crochet and self-help. But it's me - it's all me, all at once. So I'm struggling with "defining" myself and who I am and what I love. When the truth is I already know, I'm just afraid to put it out there.
"Acting like a writer" is more than telling stories - it's one big head game - fighting myself to get through the process. I'd say this is probably true for anyone following a dream, whether it's starting a business or being an artist. I share all this not to reveal the total madwoman that I am, but to help any fellow dreamers out there going through the same thing.
And now I say, "Demons, adieu! I have work to do!" and get back to revising...