I’m having a bit of an existential crisis. Or maybe I should just call it The Writers Dilemma.
The Dilemma, or at least MY dilemma
Well, that might be making it sound more grandiose than it is, especially since I’m not much of a writer yet. I have a novel in progress. Technically I have two, but the other one was from NaNoWriMo two years ago, and I think I’m barely 1300 words in, so I won’t count that. The other one is from NaNoWriMo last year, and I’m about 10000 words in. Therein lies the rub. I’ve got some time invested in this…not a whole lot, to be sure, but some. And I think I’ve got the makings of something that could be a series there, of at least two or three novels, which is cool.
But I don’t know if it’s any good. Of course, the writer in me says, “It’s first draft, you loser, of course it’s not any good! But you have to keep going…you’ve already come so far!”, and that’s a valid criticism, and since I have taken it (or anything) all the way through the process, I can’t really say anything against that criticism. But there’s the analytical part that says, “If you already doubt it this much, then how likely are you to stick with it in the long run? Besides, you idiot, you’re worrying too much about the sunk cost that you’ve already put into this thing, and that’s a fallacy for a reason. And, since you’re re-reading Pressfield right now, over-identifying with your work much, amateur?” And I can’t really say too much to gainsay that criticism either, since it’s all perfectly plausible.
Of course, then there’s the part of me that’s in between and thinking, “Are both of these assholes just my Resistance talking?”
Just to make things even more interesting…
This would be a lot easier if I didn’t already have a new idea germinating right now. Mind you, I haven’t put any words on paper, nor done anything with it, other than to start a Scrivener project called “Apocalypse story” (Interestingly, I just now typoed that as “Apocalypse Store” and that felt good…might be a hook there), but I can feel it moving around inside, not really visible except through its effects, like some hidden planet out in the Oort Cloud.
There is the part of me that thinks about things like my author platform (if you’re reading this, then you’re witnessing it in action right now, wheeee!), and having some content to help with that. Perhaps the apocalypse story is a teaser to get people interested? But it’s significantly different than the other content I’m working on. I mean, it’s still genre fiction, but it’s an apocalypse story, and my other idea is Victorian Urban Fantasy.
Perhaps this is the existential crisis for writers: “What kind of a writer am I? Nonfiction? Sci-Fi? Horror? Mystery? Furry Romance?” But spending too much time doing that sort of navel gazing feels like Resistance to me…maybe I should just write the story in front of me, finish the process, and call it done.
I think I know what Mr. Pressfield would say.