On Writing & Self-Doubt

  


 I am so scared right now. Like, really, really scared. I’m tackling quite a few huge creative projects at the moment, and I feel like running for the nearest exit, because they are all extremely intimidating. As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a novel since November of 2014. I've experienced some ups and downs with this draft, but in recent months I’ve gotten back on track with it. It’s pretty close to being finished, (the first draft, anyway) and that absolutely terrifies me. I don’t want to be done with these characters and their stories and their voices and their lives. Because whenever I can’t think of what I should do next, I just think up a new scenario for Margaux. (My main character.) And for a moment, that makes everything better. So I’m afraid to be done with it because that’ll mean I’ll have to move onto Step 2. Editing. Sending it off to publishers. Querying. The part that I’ve never been very good at. And while the writing groups I’ve joined in the past few months have been helping me with this, as well as helping me build confidence, I still don’t feel 100% okay with it all. There are still days when I think: Is this even worth it? Is anything I write even good at all?

   The other thing I’m working on is a web series. I have been hesitant to tell you about it, partly because it wasn’t a feasible reality until two weeks ago, partly because I was afraid, and partly to build suspense/hype. But now it’s happening, and I’m going to start filming this summer, and I want to tell you about it. I’m not going to give many details, (for that suspense reason I mentioned before) but all you need to know is that it’s a web series and I’m super excited about it. But I’m also really scared, for a variety of reasons. A web series isn’t like a novel. People are going to see it a lot sooner than they’re ever going to read my novel. They’re going to see my writing in action, my directorial skills, my acting. And that scares the life out of me. Because I think: What if it’s complete shit? What if I waste everyone’s time, including my own? What if this isn’t what I should be doing, and this proves it? What if I'm not actually a writer? What if what if what if?

   Sometimes I become petrified that nothing will ever come of this. That I'll work myself to the bone week in and week out...for nothing. That I won’t become a best-selling author, (or even a selling author) no one will ever read what I write, and I’ll end up working at the library for the rest of my life. And while I know that wouldn’t be a bad life, it’s not the life I want. I want to tell stories, because that’s really all we have. In my opinion, stories are the only things that are worth anything in this world. So it scares me that there's a chance I might not be very good at the one thing that means anything to me. What would I even do otherwise? But then I think, No. There’s this quote I have posted above my desk that reads,

   "The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." -Fabienne Fredrickson

   And I think that’s true. I have to believe that the things we are passionate about, the things that get us out of bed in the morning, are the things that we are meant to be doing. Even if my worst fears are true, and I’m not as good as I’d like to be, I have to believe that if it’s truly my calling, I will do anything in my power to get better.

  In other news, last week I wrote a piece on why it's okay to be alone and submitted it to Local Wolves (an awesome online lit mag) for their upcoming #TeamSolitude issue. And just yesterday I got an email saying that it's going to be published. So I'm taking this as a sign that I'm on the right track. I just felt the need to be completely honest with you guys, because I think we all feel this way sometimes, and there's no use trying to hide it. I'm scared right now, sure. But I'm also excited. Here's one last quote that's making me feel better right now.

 "A good goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot." -Chris Soriano

And they do, so I guess I'm okay.

 -Fran