This post is generally a message to myself.
I am feeling a bit of anxiety over the fact that I can’t seem to progress in my writing process. I want to write, but I also do not want to write mediocre stuff. I want to improve my writing and tell good, compelling stories.
I have this feeling that I have a lot of things to do, and yet time is not enough to do them all. I have this urge that I need to type words and craft my story, and everything that I am doing which does not involve the actual process of writing is not progression at all.
Yet, I know I am wrong.
Writing involves reading and research and a lot of studying. There are two main genres of fiction that I really enjoy reading – fantasy and mystery. However, writing under these two genres require a lot of planning ahead, or even at least a ton of knowledge on what you are writing about. Fantasy requires world building, mystery requires an interesting plot and an interesting way of presenting evidences to the readers. Both require a lot of work to get running.
I know I have to study, I know I have to do research. Jumping into a writing project without any information tucked away in my head (or at least written somewhere in handy notes) is like diving into a pool inside a dark cave – it could be hit or miss, or worse – there may be no pool inside that cave at all and you might be actually be diving into hard rocks at the bottom of that dark pit.
In Christian Mihai’s post on A Step By Step Guide to Writing a Novel, he wrote Research as step two. Writing is on the third step. While one may feel inspired and compelled to quickly jump into writing and skip the second step of research, your output may not be as good, or may be filled with inconsistencies.
A writer’s job is not all writing. Allan Walsh also said that “there is more to writing than writing. (The Continuous Balancing Act of Writing, Nov. 2018)” Writers need to not only read because they love it, but read to hone their skills.
I feel that I am at the step of studying and honing my skills. Yet, I feel anxious about it. When will it end and when can I start the actual process of writing? The answer – it will not. A writer must be continuously studying – like swords that need sharpening to keep its blade’s edge, so must we keep on working to keep our skills sharp.
As tempted as I am to skip or breeze through the process of learning so I can get anything done and get some word count up, I have to do the work, and do it properly.
To satiate my need to actually write stuff and feel like I am getting any work as a writer done, I looked to other means (like writing a blog post 😀 ). Is it alright for authors to write short stories as a form of writing exercise, too?
Anyway, I hope your journey into writing is doing better than I am in currently, and if you haven’t yet, please subscribe so we can talk about the fun and frustrations of the journey in writing.
I hope you have a nice day.