I have recently come to a startling realization. Instead of writing purely for the joy of writing, I have been writing for the number of likes, follows, and favourites I will get. This recent behaviour hasn’t bled over to my blog yet, but it has been on fanfiction. I know what pairings are popular, what the reader will like, and how they will want to story to end.
The worst part is that I have been tempted to change my story to suit other people. I haven’t, but I have considered it.
I made this discovery today as I hit a bit of writer’s block. I am participating in camp NaNoWriMo and have been writing at all hours trying to get my 50,000 words written by the end of July. I guess writer’s block isn’t the right word.
I have become self-conscious of my story. I’m on 17,000 words and the plot has yet to really begin. It feels like there’s been a build up to the climax but what if the build up has been too long that it’s boring? What if the story doesn’t go anywhere? Am I being too hard on myself?
I came to this realization when I considered posting the first chapter on fanfiction to see the reception it would get. As soon as I had this thought, I immediately shut my laptop and walked away for a little while. The online world has been great for increasing the accessibility of growing writers, being able to share your work for constructive criticism so that you can grow and learn. I think fanfiction is a great way to do that, see here for my little rant on the positives of fanfiction. But the online world can become a world of instant gratification.
I don’t know what made me lose sight of why I write stories. I write stories because I want to discover new characters, new places, face decisions I would never face in my life. I am curious to how people react differently to the same situation, how flaws shape a person. I write because I love it and can’t help but sit down and write a story.
I am sad that I almost lost sight of my love for writing, but I am beyond grateful that I got a reality check today. So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been writing a story behind the scenes.
Have you had a moment of doubt writing a story? How did you overcome it?