Writer’s block is one thing. The feeling of blanking out, that you can’t start writing even when you have ideas – the daunting blank page of doom. Writer’s inadequacy however, is subtly different. It can be perceived as writer’s block, except the ideas are there but it’s not that you can’t write – you feel as though the idea, or you as a writer, aren’t good enough.
Drafts Drafts Drafts
I don’t know about you, but I have hundreds of drafts. Great ideas I think have excellent potential. The problem? I don’t think I’m the right writer to help them reach their potential. Of all my drafts, I may have maybe five ideas I think I’ve started to write really well, but I don’t think I can keep that standard going for a whole novel. So I start another idea and hope it will be my salvation. Over and over again. It’s depressing.
It’s not at all like wanting to be a professional dancer, sports star or *insert profession here* but you’re just not that good at it to become professional. Not in my case anyway. Rather like a batter who has practiced often, knows they can hit the ball out the park, but keep striking out and begin to doubt they will ever hit another ball that well again. They watch everyone else step up to the plate and seemingly succeed with every swing. And that’s depressing.
You don’t know how often I’ve come close to quitting. Only you can’t get better if you stop right – also, my brain refuses to stop coming up with ideas, and reading definitely doesn’t help. If you’re a writer at any level or capacity, you’ll understand the frustration of not writing. Of letting those ideas, great or not, fizzle away into the black holes of forgotten memories. You don’t want that. So I keep writing. Keep drafting, editing, revising, reworking, until eventually getting something out of. And that’s encouraging.
You Are Not Alone
You just need to type in “Writers…” and Google will open up a world of aspiring writers like yourself all working towards this daunting task of completing their writing. Some have gone along far enough to submit their completed works. Others have been published. We know its not impossible and that’s encouraging.
It doesn’t make the struggle any less difficult. I could force myself to write and complete something and completely hate it in the process – I think that’s worse than not completing the work. I want to be proud of what I’ve written. I want to enjoy writing it from beginning to end, like I’m hitting the ball well with every swing, and getting home runs every once in a while.
So right now I’m feeling completely inadequate at being able to write an amazing story. Anyone can write a story. Anyone can spin a tale. The goal I’m trying to achieve is to write a brilliant tale that is above good. I want it to be excellent. It’s not easy. My confidence is low. My brain buzzes with excitement from all the potential but the execution leaves me feeling dissatisfied that I can’t live up to it. I guess that’s just part of being a writer.
I’ll just have to keep writing.
How do you get your confidence high when you’re struggling with your writing? I would love to know.