The other night I was up late, due to sleeping issues, and an idea came to me. Ok, not an idea so much as a revision of an idea and I couldn’t get it out of my head for the life of me. Every time I dozed off, the images and dialogue popped up in my head like an old drive-in movie and I couldn’t shake it away. Usually this is a great thing. I crave these moments like dragon-chaser craves that ultimate vivid high. To me it means my muse has once again deigned to grace me with her presence (oh muse, you fickle fickle thing).
It also means that sleep will continue to elude me until I write this stuff down.
So, being the good little insomniac that I am, I arose from my bed with nary a clatter and stumbled half-sleeping into my living room, grabbing my white board and a marker before plopping down on the couch. Turning on the television, I turn the channel to the Food Network/Cooking Channel (which is another subject for another time) and write by the light of the Iron Chef.
I erased everything that was on my white board which had Story Idea A on it and started on Story Idea B, which in my opinion was better and more suited to my style and taste. The problem with SI A was that I was never sure if I needed to make it First Person or Third Person. I tend to write in the Third Person focusing on two characters at a time (meaning two POV switches only) and First Person when I am writing a short story or vignette. The fact that I was vacillating between the two gave me pause and stopped me from writing more than three pages. I wasn’t sure where the hell it should go and how it should be voiced.
That’s an indicator that something is wrong.
Also, the story felt too contrived and it was hard for me to get to the points I wanted to get to. I don’t really have a logical plan when I start writing. I have bios and characteristics and I have a synopsis and points that I want to hit; it’s more like a blue print rather than an itemized list.
Anyway, back to the story.
So, erasing everything and writing down the SI B, I feel really good about this story and I can’t wait to write it. I mean I’ve already visualized the important parts and dialogue; all I really need to do is just write it down.
That’s when it happens.
At first it feels a little like how you feel before going to a party by yourself and you don’t really know anyone. And they aren’t serving alcohol.
Then you take a few breaths and mentally mutter “I can do this” but it doesn’t sound as convincing as you thought it was going to sound so you pause and wonder how are you going to do this.
The nerves turn into anxiety.
What if I can’t do this? What if it is all going to turn to crap and then I’m going to end up never writing anything and it will end like crap and I’ll keep repeating myself until my fragile ego needs to be coddled and soothed like a mewling infant?
This is when the awesome numbness slips over you and you can’t do anything but stare at a group of people trying to make wolfberry poptarts FTW!
That’s the only thought that I had at that moment. That I really and truly just suck.
I took to Facebook with my feelings of inadequacy and a few people responded that I should pretty much put on my big girl panties and push on.
On anything else I would completely and wholeheartedly agree.
But when it comes to something that is such a part of me and is such an expression of vulnerability, I can’t help but listen to the” I can’t do this, this will be awful no matter what”, portion of my brain (that treacherous bastard).
I think I need a new pair of big-girl panties.