I actually love writing, which is one of the reasons I blog, but I also love to write other things, too, like fiction and poetry. I majored in creative writing for a little while at the arts high school I went to, stopped writing for a while when I left, then took it up again when I started my first half-novel for Camp NaNoWriMo about 3 years ago. I ended up shelving that novel because I didn’t know what to do with it (even though my boyfriend, who is also a writer, said he really liked it even though he doesn’t normally go for most YA), but then starting another half-novel last year for real NaNoWriMo. I got a little over halfway through on that one before getting sick and not writing for a few days, thus destroying my word count and demotivating me completely.
I haven’t looked at that novel pretty much since November 2017.
Honestly, I’m not completely sure why this is. I had a really strong feeling about this novel, that it was going to be the one that I finally finished and put out into the world eventually, when it was ready. I’ve always wished I had a novel to query or use to participate in things like #DVPit and #PitMad, and always start something with the goal of finishing and revising before one of those dates. Yet, it’s never happened, and I’ve been wary of touching my Queer Bookish Novel since last year.
Why is this? Probably a lot of reasons. One of my main ones is motivation. For some reason, I always feel significantly less motivated to write when I don’t have a set goal or deadline approaching like I do for WriMo events. I just find it so hard to find the time to sit down and actually force myself to write. Since getting a full time job, time is another issue. When do I really have time to write? I tend to like to write during the day, but I can’t do that while working.
This brings up another problem, that of waiting for perfect conditions to write. I keep telling myself, oh, I’ll write again when I have time, or, I’ll write again after I read BIG MAGIC, because I have some weird idea that reading this book will magically help me get over my writing fears and lack of motivation and discipline. One thing I learned in high school through the art program I participated in is that there is no such thing as “perfect conditions” to create, so you can’t wait for them. And yet, here I am, waiting around until I read a certain book or finally motivate myself to write an outline, etc.
Mostly though, I think aside from lack of motivation/self-discipline, my biggest obstacle is FEAR. I have a lot of complicated feelings related to writing due to things that happened in the past that led to bad things and not writing creatively for a really long time. I still don’t have the same drive I used to before those things happened to write creatively as much as I used to, even though I always enjoy writing when I do it, and whenever I do write it feels like the thing I “should” be doing with my time.
I’m afraid no one will want to read my story because it’s too depressing. I’m afraid no one will want to read my story because they’ll think it’s too queer. I’m worried that I’m not queer enough to write such a queer story. I’m worried I’ll write it and be proud of it but it won’t get anywhere. I’m afraid of not knowing what to do when I get stuck.
But I want to get over these fears, because I want to have a book, and have it be Queer Bookish Novel. This feels like the right story for me to write, despite some of the aforementioned fears, and I want to start finding ways to motivate myself to write again. I just don’t know how to do it.
How do you motivate yourself to write? What are some of your fears when it comes to writing creatively?