Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fears and Aspirations

by Bruce Carroll

As I write my novel, what do I fear?I fear nothing! I know my story is awesome, or at least worth telling. Even though I may struggle with the middle from time to time (okay, most of the time), I will persevere and my story will be told in the end!

Except that’s not exactly true.

Of course I fear that I am over-confident. After all, I like a lot of things most of my friends and acquaintances don’t. And many of the things they think are very compelling I find lackluster. It seems my tastes, whether in music, movies, books, authors, games, or whatever, are...discriminating.

But that fear is (relatively) easily overcome. I write what I write. Those who appreciate it will. Those who don’t will move on and find something else to read. And if I am the only one who appreciates my work, I will not have failed. At least I’ll have a good story to go back and re-read.

No, what I most fear is wasting time. Sometimes while reading writing how-to articles, I feel my time would be better spent writing. Planning a story and research both take time, and I sometimes wonder if it would be better spent somewhere else. My writing practice can seem like a waste of time. Even writing my work-in-progrss can seem like a waste of time; so much goes unused. Of course I file it, but would I have been a “better” writer if I hadn’t wasted that time in the first place?

There is a strange disconnect here: I know (intellectually) that these things are important, but I often feel they are a waste.

But there is a greater fear, one I hardly admit even to myself: what if I don’t have anything to say? What if instead of a compelling resolution to a particular piece, it simply...


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