I have my idea, I have the outline, I have it all pictured in my head but getting it down on paper? IS TOO HARD.
(Technically it’s on a computer but shhh).
This is literally the subject of many a writing meme (see Exhibit A below) but it irks me daily that in order to get this story out of me, I must sit and write it.
I don’t want to, you know? It needs to appear full formed before me because it’s too much. It takes me too long, I’m not disciplined enough. I want it to just ‘manifest’ through sheer force of will.
The story? Oh, man, it’s so good. The big WIP the project I’ve been working on for like 3 years now? It’s the novel I want to read, it is 100% a vanity project but I’m sure there are other nerds like me who would love it.
But now, I have to bare the poor wee thing to the naked light of day, where I discover holes and things that don’t make sense because apparently it’s not enough to leave it at ‘because I said so’. Apparently, if there’s a mysterious back story, or fact of the world that it’s set in, this will need to be understood by the reader. I can’t just pluck these details out of my arse whenever it’s convenient, I have to drip feed them earlier on.
Also, the two dimensional little beings in my brain must become well rounded, complex people. Their actions have to make sense. They must fairly represent different experiences and not the little narrow corner of the world I know.
You have to foreshadow stuff. You can’t leave the reader totally in the dark when there’s a twist, you have to hint. If there’s something symbolically important then you have to display it in a subtle way, that’s not just literally HEY LOOK AT THIS REPEATING SYMBOL, PAY ATTENTION AS IT WILL COME UP LATER. I didn’t sign up for this shit. My imagination is a dumb child with crayons and you’re asking me to turn that into a work of art?
And do you what the worst thing about it is?
One day I will have to show it someone.
What if it’s shit? What if I’m a terrible writer?
I want it to be read. I dream of someone finding joy in my words. Some one finding themselves in one of my characters or in the stories I write. I hope that someone will stay up late too captured by it to sleep. I want them to love it as much as I do.
But on the other hand… it feels weirdly… intimate? For lack of a better word? I would sooner let one of my friends read my diary than something I’ve written. Writing is something I’ve done since I was a kid and wow did I get made fun of for it. To the teachers that encouraged me to read out my stories and poems to the class- thanks for the fostering of my passion but fuck I wish you hadn’t of done that. It took me a really long time to recapture how much I loved writing, so now, it is precious to me.
Bit contradictory though isn’t it?
In the end, the fact is that when you’re starting out as an author, you don’t know if it will all be for nothing. All the extra work around your job etc, all the late nights, all the red pen lines over manuscripts. You might only sell as many copies as you have friends and family and no more.
Did you enjoy this rant? I hope it felt relatable because the memes lead me to believe I am among friends.