Whenever I’ m starting a new writing project, the hardest part for me is to get over that mental gap. No matter how excited I may be about the source material or the story, starting down that path is always the most difficult part for writing for me. It’s not something that I just suffer through at the beginning either. Every time I stop and then start, I have to go through this internal battle to write.
Don’t get me wrong, I love writing and it’s something that I need to do, but there’s also a feeling that I can’t quite escape when it comes to dragging my feet about beginning. The sad truth about most of the writing that I do is that it’s not something that can be finished in one sitting. I don’t tend to write short stories and as such, the writing that I do tends to be much longer and requires a maintained focus for a lengthier period of time. The inspiration for such pieces does not tend to last the entirety of that period.
There are some writers I know (quite a few actually) who will put a project aside when they are not feeling inspired and come back to it later. That’s not something I can do. I’ve tried it a couple times, but if I put aside a piece, I’ll rarely come back to it unless I’m forced to. If I’m forced to come back to it than that initial trepidation to start writing again is even greater than it would normally be. To be able to put down a project and then come back to it months later with the same clear vision and gusto is a talent that I would love to have, but after writing for as many years as I have, I’m able to be more realistic about my limitations as a writer.
Some projects will fill me with inspiration and the dog me until I can write them. These are the best projects, often the most frustration ones, but there’s never that feeling of impotence that so often comes when I’m thinking of starting a first draft.
I was thinking about it the other day and went back to look at my fanfiction.net account. I had started writing (seriously writing) years before I ever posted anything online, but my fanfiction.net account is where I first posted fiction that I had written for public consumption. Going back to look at the things that I wrote can bring on unstoppable cringing, but it was a start as well. The first story I ever posted to that account was a fanfic about an anime, a first chapter of a fic that ended up being close to 100, 000 words and when I was looking at that first chapter I realized that the anniversary of its posting would be in seven days. Seven days from now and I’ll be looking at my ten year anniversary of starting down the road which lead me to wanting to become a published writer.
It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, usually, but some nights I feel like I’ve been writing for an eternity. Particularly during these impotent little moments where I feel like it’s impossible to write even a single sentence and I’ve been looking at my draft for the majority of the day.