So, I’m currently working on an urban fantasy story that’s been wiggling around in my head in disparate pieces for the better part of a decade. I really started thinking about it quite a bit about a year ago, and I started building a story bible about a month ago. I’m loving the ideas I’m having so far, and it has been quite fun.
However, and I don’t know if this is a problem with other writers, but I feel like my story is shit. I’m very critical of my own work, as most creators are, and it makes me want to scream. Not because it won’t result in a better product in the end, but because it makes me want to stop.
That has always been an issue for me — being able to stick it out and finish something. The only time I’ve successfully done that to my knowledge is during sex, but I digress. It’s really hard to imagine a story that you think others will love based on the crappy first draft. As Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.”
Now, logically I understand this. No one is perfect, no matter how good a writer they may be. Edits, edits, and more edits are called for on any finished product. Knowing this doesn’t help me feel any better at all.
So, to combat this unwillingness to finish anything, I’ve made a decision to keep some of my close friends in on reading this thing as it takes shape. They like the idea, and they support me becoming a famous writer that makes tons of money and shares the hookers and blow with them. (They don’t know I’ll never have that kind of money. I’d just be happy to pay the bills writing.) I know they’ll keep me going, though. One of them told me the other day to get off the fucking computer and write. That’s the kind of thing I need.
One thing I have learned that has helped me quite a bit is to try not to write something you want to sell. Write something that’s personal, something that reveals the side you don’t show people. Infuse that into the prose and the characters, and I think you’ve got a shot. I don’t know for certain, though. Hopefully, I’ll let you know when I’m finished.
Also published on Medium.