Confidence

I will be the first to admit that I am not always the most confident person you will ever meet. When I was a kid, I was the one who hesitated when standing in front of those two whirling whips in gym class they called Double Dutch. I have hesitated in my career, in schooling, and in love more times than I am comfortable admitting. Some of my biggest hesitations have been with my own kids and lately, a huge hesitation has been with my writing.

Though I am making headway, as I have talked about in recent posts, I had to be honest and say that sometimes I verge on the borderlines between not knowing what the hell I am doing, or even seeing any point in anything that I am doing. Right now I am looking at my book and wondering what techniques I should use, how I should structure it, how to tell the story, or even doubting that I have a story that I am telling. I don’t read a lot of the genre that I am working on currently, and that is either going to be a benefit or a hazard. I have a lot of great moments I am stringing together, but also I am lacking confidence in seeing how anyone will even care about these moments, or maybe just see it as some some of self-aggrandizing project. It could all be a complete mess.

In other words, unless I’m writing about dragons or cthonic beasts or flawed heroes, sometimes it is hard for me to get any focus. Maybe I just have a hard time reading about everyday life because it is so disappointing. I tend to write and read for escapist entertainment. Writing this book is very much a process, rather than an escape.

I don’t know. It seems easy enough to put the words down, but without a background in reading this type of thing, I’m flying blind as far as structure, plot, and story goes. I do also think that maybe I have the advantage to writing without a prescribed method in my mind and maybe come up with something different. A departure from what people are used to, with a fresh voice and a different perspective.

One of my biggest hurdles to overcome–and I know this intimately–is my lack of confidence in my abilities, my opportunities, and whether or not anyone even gives a fuck once I have this all written. Considering my ambitions to travel write, podcast, blog, and write books that has gone over like a lead balloon, it is difficult to say the least. What do you say to someone who has failed at nearly everything they have ever tried?

Confidence doesn’t always pay off when you have it. And what little I have left is evaporating.

Work in progress update

Over the last few weeks, I have been furiously taking notes, working on scenes in the book, and there are days the book feels like it is writing itself. I moved probably twenty notes over to the Scrivener document and even organized everything that I had by character, event, or timeline. It is going to be the best way to keep track of everything.

I have a lot of beautiful scenes, moments between characters, and some scenes written, but as far as plot and structure go, I was starting to get a little concerned. So, I took a walk by myself at dusk and I thought about the story. I think I have enough cathartic moments, pretty scenes, etc. to last me for a while, so it was time to start thinking about plot. So, what I decided to do was to open the Notes app on my phone. I opened up a new document and typed in three words:

Beginning
Middle
End

Then I started fleshing out what each needed to be, based on the notes I had taken so far. Oh, and later on, I wrote 2,000 words for a new chapter. This is a novel that is highly character based, especially in regards to internal conflict. There isn’t much in the realm of setting or plot, other than overcoming internal struggles, dealing with loss, and attempting to make any sense of it. This is a wide departure from airplanes with the souls of warhorses and zombie armies fighting in the trenches of my previous projects.

My goal for this book is to break your heart.

Anyway, I just wanted to drop a quick update on how things have been going, more for myself than anyone else really. I’m making progress. The book is coming along nicely. The writing feels solid for a first draft too. After all that work, I have one finished first draft of the first chapter.

But the way this story is coming together is a lot like flicking globs of ink onto a page. The spots expand, drizzle over to other spots, and eventually an image will form. The book will be done. And then I can start on the next one!