Looming Failure

Obviously there are a lot of ways to live life. Personally I’ve always tried to go about it with three things in mind: Efficiency, Happiness, and Success. I try to do things that will make me happiest most efficiently so I can become successful. But you can never see the end of any path, you just kind of have to guess where doing a certain thing will take you. I’ve researched tons of things regarding the writing process, techniques, dos and don’ts, everything. I have dozens of pages of notes of information that my favorite authors have said regarding how to become a writer, but lately I’ve been wondering if this is the right path to take.

Should I delve into Brandon Sanderson’s podcast, Writing Excuses, and not try to accomplish anything unil I’m done? It’s eleven seasons long it’ll probably take me several months to listen to its entirety and really absorb all of the notes I’ll take on their advice. But is that the way to do it? Sometimes I wonder if becoming a master in the theory is better than being a novice in the craft. Am I too scared to jump into a novel? Am I that afraid of failure? I know, for certain, that regardless of all the information I’m equipped with, that in the very least my first novel will not be good. So why have I been so hesitant to commit to it? Why am I so afraid of unavoidable failure? I would rather be the guy that loved to write garbage and wrote a dozen books without publishing any just out of enjoyment than wait ten years researching and learning to write the first book that is a masterpiece. But if that’s the case then why am I procrastinating?

I am under no illusion. Listening to podcasts and reading about writing is procrastination. But if I consider myself more naturally skilled than the average person and every writer has had to climb that hurdle, wouldn’t mine logically be a shorter hurdle than the ones the others would have to leap? Is it possible to force oneself to be the self-motivated type out of logic alone? I can’t answer that question. Not sure many people can. I don’t want to find out the answer if it’s a ‘no’, but what else am I to do?

Maybe I should try to take a breather and live at a more comfortable pace. I’m not usually one for hypocrisy, but my life has pretty much always been guided by a terror. The terror that looming failure is approaching me like a monstrous thunderstorm hungry to strike if I stray in one place too long. At the same time, though, maybe I’ll trip if that failure is preventing me from looking where I’m going. Besides, most people probably feel like they’re running from that thunderstorm, and I would consider myself more fit than most. I may not be a track runner, but I don’t run out of breath easy. Maybe I should add ‘Patience’ to those three things I mentioned earlier, but I feel like it’s more of a subcategory of both Efficiency and Happiness.

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