Lately, I’ve been looking through old files of writing that I happen to have in a format that’s usable in 2009 (not everything was on the Brother Word Processor; I acquired a very used PC some time in early 1993, though it did not outlast the Brother machine).
A great deal of the stuff is useless now, though there are some common themes in my thoughts regarding writing and just what the heck I was doing. Am I writer, how do I write consistently, what do I write about. I have nothing to write, I’m wasting my time and not writing anything productive, I have writer’s block. There’s a general lack of confidence and just trying to get my bearings.
That point was probably the point where most would-be writers get lost. They see the daunting task before them of improving craft, dreaming up and completing projects, and the likelihood of not receiving outside recognition any time soon and give up. I see it as stepping out onto a big blank space all by yourself and from there you’re supposed to find your way to some lush writing grounds. You’re bound to wander around lost for awhile looking for landscape.
These sentiments I expressed years ago must be natural for the beginning writer. Some of them linger after those beginning days, sure, but I think you develop a set of tools or just thicker skin to put them in their place and not let them drag you down. You keep moving along because it’s what you do. You even learn to love what you’re doing and can’t imagine doing something different.
My writing-related concerns these days are more along the lines of, what project do I work on, to where do I submit, in what direction do I take something I’m working on or how do I revise it and make it better. The other stuff creeps in sometimes, but I’m too far in now for it to stop me.