I often get anxious when I spend a few hours at a time playing video games or watching videos on YouTube and stuff like that. I feel as though if I haven’t done anything to qualify for ‘moderately productive’, I’m falling behind. I think about how the fact that I don’t have a job right now means that I’m a failure, but then other times I think that’s completely stupid. It’s barely been a month since I quit my job. Sometimes I feel like there is no possible way that I will ever become an established author like Brandon Sanderson is, but then other times again I feel like that is really stupid. He didn’t publish until he was thirty. That is literally over thirty percent of my life I have yet to experience before I can even berate myself for not having published. I’ve finally started writing over five hundred words a day, so that’s something.
One thing I try not to think about, though, is that when everybody says “Write every day”, I’m not sure they mean stuff like this. I can write about stuff I do or do not like, about my strengths and weaknesses, and everything in between, all day. I’m a bit concerned that when people say write every day, many of them mean that I should be writing fiction. I still can’t quite see how writing about myself can help me become a stronger writer when it comes to novels, except indirectly. I can see that, of course, word count means a lot less to me. Forty thousand words doesn’t seem half as daunting as it used to because I already did it in a matter of months just by writing five hundred words a day. I can also see that writing reflections like this will obviously help me to grow as a person, and being a more well-rounded individual will make my writing better by extension. That isn’t what I’m arguing. I’m saying that I still would have written the same weekly stories if I hadn’t been maintaining a blog every other day.
So my largest source of anxiety is probably my own head. I feel like I’m not doing one hundred percent of everything I can to achieve things, and not doing so it means I’m a failure. I’ve spent so long learning how to not hate writing, but it may take as long again to actually enjoy it.
I really don’t get that much pleasure from writing Dreamscape. That’s part of the reason why I only write about a chapter a week, and usually all at once on one day. I get to these road bumps of “How am I going to get my characters from Point A to Point B?” and instead of really mulling it over and taking the best action, I let myself get distracted and put it down for another few days. If I didn’t get to those obstacles I could probably write it far more quickly, but the reality is I don’t care about it enough to try. I still like the premise of the story, sure. I know an established author could pick up my outline, rearrange and add stuff to make it good, and probably publish it within two years. But since I don’t have the skill it’s hard to maintain motivation to press onward.
I know that if I stopped doing this blog I would actually lose a bit of myself, because that daily production level would drop even further (from what I consider low production to no production), and that fact makes this at least somewhat enjoyable. It would probably be a lot more gratifying if anyone read these and gave feedback, but that takes time. I feel like I should start throwing the blog out there into the media, but at the same time I know nobody would care about some kid writing about himself. That’s why I don’t bother on that front.