excuses and Fear

It seems sometimes like the entire world is conspiring to demolish my free time. I keep trying to remind myself that once we finish painting the house, a large part of that will go away. Though it’s not the most comforting thing when I’m scraping wallpaper and realize an hour of work has only resulted in a small patch of exposed drywall.

And then, of course, there’s the Fear. The thing that, when you finally DO sit down with your favorite notebook and pencil, suddenly makes you pull a blank on all those ideas, characters, and scenes you’ve been turning over in your head all week. I stare down at my notebook and inevitably conclude “maybe I’ll just draw ___ first.” This happens more than I would like to admit. Drawing a character is satisfying in its own way, and by no means a waste – looking at them gets me thinking. But when the act of drawing them is an excuse, a way to hide from writing them, well, that’s shameful.

It’s baffling that I should be afraid of writing at all. I’m really good at it. (They say it’s bad form to talk like that, but this is one of the few things about myself that I know to be true.) I guess it doesn’t matter how good I am – I’m still a victim of the Fear of Failure (Wil Wheaton capitalized it correctly) – the overwhelming terror that I will not be able to put it on the page as amazing and perfect as I see it in my head.

This is something I must learn to ignore. Accept that it exists, look it in the face, and choose to create anyway. I have a feeling that this Fear is what keeps a lot of potential writers (and other artists) from realizing their aspirations. The most important thing is to get the ideas on the page. They won’t be perfect the first time. I’ll probably have to scrap entire scenes as I go. But the act of writing them now is what will ultimately inform the decisions I make that shape the story and make it into a better whole. Sometimes I don’t know if an idea really works until I start scrawling it across a page.

So while it may be easier to go level archaeology as a shadow priest or go digging for chocographs in FFIX, I’ve got to be more uh….nose to the grindstone….about it. Yeah. I know grammar. Mmhmm.